Im dyslexic (hope i spelled it right!) and my reading is bout 5th grade. I wonder how im ever going to pass the GED. If i have enouf time, i can usually get it. But when theres a time limit like on the ged i get nervous and read evn slower. And as you can see my spellings prety bad. I’m not stupid and i got a prety good job. But school learning is really hard for me. But i want the ged cuz im embarased not to have a hs deploma. I’m goin to do this even if it takes years. Wish me luck.
Let me tell you a true story. My name is James Tillman. Six years ago I was a high school drop out. I didn’t have a job. I was still living with my parents. I had my own car, but it didn’t run. I couldn’t even afford to fix it!
Today, I am a successful writer, teacher, and businessman. People pay me over $100 an hour to listen to me tell them how to succeed. Amazing. My income last year was over $50K.
So what happened?
First, you have to understand I hated school. I thought it was a joke. When I did go to class, I just read comics. It was a waste of time so I quit. Yeah, maybe that was a mistake now that I look back it, but there it was. I was free and out of school. I could do anything I wanted. Except find a good job!
Life after high school wasn’t as great as I thought it would be. After a year of moving from one fast food job to another, I decided that I needed to turn my life around and get my GED. So, I signed up and took the test. Big surprise. I failed.
That was the low point for me. The bottom. No job, no future, no GED.
What turned my life around was an amazing discovery I made.
I was reading this book by John Holt called, Why Children Fail, and came across this basic truth which changed the whole way I think about education. Here is what Mr. Holt said,
“We don’t have to make human beings smart. They are born smart. All we have to do is stop doing things that make them stupid.”
This really blew me away. What I realized, was that it was the way I was educated that was making me stupid. I just did not know how to study. . . or to learn. . . or even really, how to think. What a revelation.
As I thought more about it, I realized the reason I didn’t pass the GED was not that I was stupid, but that I didn’t know how to take tests very well, or how to remember what I learned, or how to write a decent essay, or even how to think very clearly about the problems in the test.
This discovery literally changed the way I prepared for the GED. Instead of rehashing all the old high school stuff, I spent my time reading books on test taking, on time management, on thinking skills, and on how people learn best.
I now teach these hard learned lessons to others who are preparing for the GED. Imagine me, a high school drop-out teaching others how to study, how to learn better, how to think more clearly and how to write a good essay. But who’s going to know these lessons best. . . somebody who learned them through hard knocks or because they were handed them on silver platter.
So, that’s my story. Tell me about yours. . .