Sab Sahota-Lyons

To her pupils, Sab Sahota-Lyons is an inspirational English teacher whose memory is so sharp that she can reel off whole chunks of text by heart and recall quotes and even whole paragraphs with ease.

 

But what is particularly astonishing about Sab is that she is also blind.

Determined not to let this hinder her daily life, Sab makes her own way to school by train, with a cane to assist her on the way.

Although she is unable to see to read, she has excelled in a profession that depends so heavily on sight.

Sab, 29, has developed methods of teaching which have earned her the respect and admiration of pupils and fellow teachers alike.

Despite not being able to actually see her class, she recognises every pupil by their voice and takes the morning register with a voice recognition computer.

Like any teacher, she writes on the whiteboard with a pen, but when she starts running out of space, her pupils tell her.

To assess their work, she uses a marker who reads essays aloud before she grades them.

So impressed are her senior colleagues with her amazing personality and strength of character that they have rewarded her with the title of joint Head of Year.

Even out of school hours, Sab's confidence and energy know no bounds.

A keen follower of karate, she has achieved brown belt status, and has pursued her enthusiasm for sport through water-skiing and indoor skydiving.

Sab has come a long way since she went blind at the age of eight, when specialists diagnosed "Stills" disease, a condition which damages the eyes.

She attended a special boarding school in Coventry, where she met her future husband Deane, 28, but right up to her MA degree, she used tapes to learn texts and dictated essays to a scribe.

Her dream of teaching English was realised when she was then offered a post at Priory Comprehensive School in Lewes, Sussex.

Says Sab: "Being blind wasn't an issue at the interview. Just because I, can't see, it doesn't mean I can't teach."

 

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