What Teaching Reminds Me

When I am teaching as an itinerant teacher of deaf and hard of hearing students attending public schools, I am reminded of several things on a daily basis.

I am reminded of diversity. There are different hearing losses, different ways of communicating, different languages, different ways of learning, and different cultures, families, and backgrounds. No one is like me, grew up like me, or will learn like I do. We are not the same, except in that we just all want to be happy and loved.

I am reminded that not everyone has been so lucky to been able to pick up language effortlessly from the moment they were born. The students working hard on understanding the language used by the general population of where they live remind me of this. Students who did not have the advantage of naturally developing a first language remind me of this as they work on understanding phrases that are usually easily understood by other students 3 or 4 grades younger than them.

I am reminded that there is no such thing as stupid when it comes to learning. I am always inspired and encouraged when a student finally masters a skill or concept, even though it may seem very simple to many others who can learn the same thing within seconds. The students who finally mastered a seemingly easy skill worked harder than most people I know.

I am reminded of how hard work can pay off. It can be truly rewarding and life changing.

I am also reminded that not everything is perfect or will work out the way we would like it to.

I am reminded that failing can be the best thing that can happen to someone. But, it is always sad, at first.

Most importantly, I am always reminded that I do not know everything and that I have a lot to learn.

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