Best Practice

Being a neurodiverse teacher: The power of role models

As a neurodiverse teacher, being open about these conditions and the challenges they can bring sets a powerful example. Dr Jennifer Glover-Woollard reflects on how we can do this safely and offers some practical pointers
Image: Adobe Stock

I am a female, neurodiverse early career teacher of science. I have a diagnosis of dyslexia, autism, and visual stress (a visual processing disorder). Before entering teaching, I was an engineer.

In both professions, I have seen the power of role models and how the lack of relatable inspiration can damage the workforce. Through my work volunteering for the Women’s Engineering Society, I have also seen how a strong community can empower individuals.

I have seen advancement in gender equality in STEM, but I am still not seeing this kind of progress when it comes to neurodiversity.

When I went to school, there were no teachers who were openly neurodiverse. It was perhaps due to this lack of representation that I didn’t even consider teaching or education as a career. Instead I spent eight years in a field that, while I was passionate, didn’t genuinely fit me.

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