Life in the Learning Centre

Friday, August 05, 2022 - By: Benjamin Mandorla, Rogers ‘22

Hi, Brentwood I’m Benjamin Mandorla and I will be speaking today about my experience at and how the Learning Center has helped me.

Before I came to Brentwood in Grade 9, I went to a small school in the Cowichan Valley. I always had challenges in school - I spent lots of time studying just to get medium grades, and felt like I put in more effort than my peers just to end up defeated. In my Grade 9 year the transition was hard and it came with a greater workload than I had previously experienced. After spending a lot of time in tutorials and extra help for English and continuing to feel frustrated, I started talking to my parents, Ms Murtland, and Ms Rogers about my learning and what was going well and what was really hard.

Ms Rogers was able to set up an appointment with a psychologist where I received an educational assessment.

The results provided me with lots of information that was overwhelming but also helpful. I was diagnosed with dyslexia. After a couple of weeks of planning, I was able to enroll in the Learning Center, where I received specific help to make my schooling here successful. Dyslexia is a learning disorder that effects people in many different ways such as having trouble reading and spelling. I struggle with both these aspects. Some of the things that affect me when reading are backward letters such as confusing a lower case b and d; trouble tracking where I am on the page; and proper grammatical structure. Dyslexia doesn’t just affect me in school but also in my day-to-day life as reading and writing are needed in most aspects of life.

With the help of the Learning Center, I have found many ways to make my learning experience as equitable as possible with the support of accommodations like extra time on tests, voice to text, and many other strategies. I have been in the Learning Center now for four years and have not only been taught tools to help with my learning difficulties, but also good life skills such as effective communication, time management and organization.

Thanks to the amazing, supportive, kind and non-judgmental environment that Ms Rogers, Ms Nasmith and Ms Langer work tirelessly to maintain in the Learning Center.

Benjamin Mandorla, Whittall ‘22

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