Sean Taylor teaches fourth grade at Rio Vista Elementary. But when Taylor was a student, some of his teachers told him he would never read or write. 

He explains, “Literacy for me was almost an unrealized, unattainable dream! As a dyslexic learner I was unable to read, write or decode words as a child—p, d, b and q were all the same letter.”

After overcoming his own learning difficulties, Taylor shares his struggles with dyslexia and dysgraphia and uses his experiences to teach in new ways. He has been teaching for 16 years.   

Taylor was born in Los Angeles and adopted and brought to Tucson with his family. He graduated from the UofA and worked as a reading specialist. But he wanted to have a class of his own to “have those relationships and teach kids the way I want to be taught—(through) hands-on, exciting” methods.

His grandma was a fourth-grade teacher, too, he says. Taylor taught sixth grade before moving to fourth grade. He also does an artist-in-residence program teaching about Monet. 

“Art is a passion,” says Taylor. He explains that his brain is wired in a way that leads him to be creative, but he needed to learn things in a multi-modal way. Now he shares those skills and mechanisms with his students (and with other instructors through his blog).

Travel is another passion for Taylor. He spent a year in Sweden and has visited over 20 other countries.

Taylor lets students know that if they work hard and put the time in, they will succeed.   

“Even though my mind is set up to be an artist, I still have to practice,” he says.

Taylor was nominated by student Ramona K. She writes, “He inspires me to go above and beyond” and “he makes learning fun.”

“My teacher is great because he can teach new ways each day...to solve problems,” notes Ramona, who adds, “he always makes us laugh.”

 

Fun Facts:

World Traveler: Taylor loves to travel. He says he has visited 27–29 countries.
The Gift of Art: Taylor considers his affinity for art a gift that is tied to his dyslexia. His artwork has led to travel and helped him pay for college.
Teaching Mantra: ALL children are gifted and can learn to read!
Edition: 
Tucson
Issue: 
June 2018