The teacher who couldn't read
CAZENOVIA, N.Y. —
It's a secret he's kept for decades.
"At the age of six or seven I thought there was something wrong with my brain. I bought into this big lie that I couldn't learn how to read," literacy advocate, John Corcoran said.
Now he is sharing his story, which he has written a book about explaining his struggles just to get through high school.
"I was tired of being an embarrassment to my parents. I was tired of being an embarrassment to myself," Corcoran said.
Corcoran says he got by in high school by cheating. He was a talented athlete and ended up with an athletic scholarship in college.
Throughout college he continued cheating and he found ways to get others to do his work.
"I graduated from college and I was reading at a second or third grade level," Corcoran said.
He says he was able to put up a good front and was eventually hired to teach high school students in social studies and physical education.
He remembers finding ways to teach his students without having to read to them.
But by the age of 48, he had enough. He hired a tutor to help him read.
"To solve any problem you have to be able to identify the problem and offer solutions, and for me it is to tell my story to invite other people to tell their stories," Corcoran said.
Which is exactly what Corcoran does now.
He travels the country telling people his story, hoping it will save other kids from going through what he did.
"We are passing kids through high school today that are reading at the elementary level. We have kids going to universities that are reading at the elementary level," Corcoran said.