“Mom,” says Sam. “You know what one of the best things about my new school is?”

“Tell me,” I say.

Excited that he is embracing this new school that specializes in teaching kids with dyslexia as much as I am. (It was a bit touch and go in the beginning).

“Spelling. Does. Not. Count.” he says (as if explaining the key to the Caramilk secret for me).

“Our teacher is so smart that if she can figure out what we’re writing, then she doesn’t care if it’s spelled wrong or right.”

‘You’re right, Sam’ I think. She is so smart.

She is really smart, I think to myself, as Sam’s face lights up with the first 10 out 10 (maybe in his entire life) on a socials study quiz, where emblazoned across the middle of the page of a map of the world, in his big bold handwriting is:

EKWATAR (Equator)

Why is it I wonder that we (myself included!) equate good spelling with intelligence?

How could the two possibly be related.

I, myself a post secondary instructor and expert in my field, have already had five words corrected with a spell check red squiggly line in the writing of this post.

Academically, I know that spelling and intelligence are not related but how, I wonder, can I really believe and embrace that knowledge?

I wonder if we can (heck, if I can!) re-frame that thinking and what it would take.

True confession, I already had a friend this week ask me if I started getting the twitches when I saw that another friend had written ‘spade’ in reference to a procedure that her cat was having done.

I have a long way to go towards that re-framing.

Today I am embracing Sam’s beaming face at his 10 out 10 and hoping for a trip with him over the ekwatar.

Featured Photo Courtesy: STOKPIC