November 26, 2011

Deaf Teachers of Typically Hearing Students

My post, Deaf Student Teacher With Hearing Students, has some unanswered questions left by commenters. Perhaps these questions can be answered by the previous commenters or other readers may like to get involved with the discussion. I would love to hear more from other individuals who went through or are going through similar experiences.

Comment left by Dee: 

It varies--usually I work with two to five when I'm doing small groups and other times, I'm in general education classrooms, sometimes ending up having to cover for general education teachers. I often do assessments (that's one-on-one). I also lead numerous meetings with parents, teachers, principals, psychologists, and other team members. I'm all over the school. I've even had kids ask me if I was the "principal's helper." However, I make sure that my direct contact with people is half-time...otherwise, lipreading full-time exhausts me to the point of compromising my health. 

Comment left by Paul:

I'm severe to profoundly deaf and spent five summers teaching hearing kids programming, web design, CAD, and related subjects. It was a rewarding experience.

In some ways, it's an ideal situation because I'm the primary speaker, I have control over who talks, I know the topic, and I'm facing them. Also if the child is asking a question, I can look at the computer and see what's wrong and that's likely to be the subject of the question.

On the other hand, I like to ask questions to probe for understanding and it can be difficult to understand a child's speech in a noisy room. As a consequence, I ask less questions than I'd like.

Recently, I volunteered for Junior Achievement. I ended up teaching the hearing class a few signs for the vocabulary and I couldn't believe how enthusiastic they were about signing. I wish I'd started mixing ASL in a lot earlier.

Questions in response to Dee and Paul:

Dee--I just came across your post. Are you still on this blog? I have many questions about a deaf teacher teaching literacy to hearing students. I would love to correspond with you! 

Paul and Dee--It seems that you rely on oral speech rather than sign when teaching? Do either of you teach with ASL interpreters? I ask because I teach literature and writing classes at the University of Texas at Austin with ASL interpreters.

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