"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive." Anaïs Nin

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A New Year, A New Opportunity

A new year has arrived as well as a new opportunity. I have been asked to come to a public school this week for 3 days to speak about Deafness, hearing loss and Sign Language to all the second grade classes. There are eight classes in all. This week is Helen Keller week, and I have the privilege of sharing a little about the history of Sign Language, and show them how I "phone" people via the Cap Tel Relay (if there is time). I will also give a short segment on etiquette when speaking with a Deaf or hard of hearing person.

With children, I find that by first giving a basic short overview, their questions will drive the direction of the presentation. I have found each class is different, and by following the direction they are interested in, they are focused if I follow their lead. My motto with presentations lately has been to just "go with the flow". One class may be more interested in the technological gadgets available, where another group  may be interested strictly in Sign Language, or they want to know why don't ALL Deaf people know how to sign, or what causes a person to lose their hearing.

Though each class may learn something a little different, when they do get together with the students from other classes on the play ground or on the bus, they each have something to share with one another that they may not have heard during their class.

I will be visiting each class for thirty minutes. Tomorrow I am visiting my son's class. It was his teacher who asked if I would come do the presentation and who set it up that I may visit with the other classes. I'm so glad we were able to have a good talk during the parent/teacher conference. By sharing why my son is different with communicating, being up close and personal and loud, it opened the door to share important information they may not learn of otherwise. It also will help teachers to know a little more about children with the challenge of hearing loss who may be in their class someday.

I sent a folder to the teacher a few weeks ago with the manual alphabet to run copies off so the children have something tangible from the presentation to take home with them and to learn on their own further, if they are interested. I can't wait to share with them that there is a document from the 11th century with pictures of the very same alphabet that was used by monks in Chuny France during their times of silence. So many people think Sign Language is a "new language".

Thursday I will visit three classes and on Friday, four classes.  Such busyness after a delightful and relaxing vacation! I'll blog about where we went and what we did another time. Right now it's back to business.

Happy New Year, All.


  1. You are busy. Lo0ok forward to hearing more later. :)

  2. Hi, Liz! Perhaps a little too busy, but for this week, it's ok. I could not do this everyday. I'm so glad we broke the classes up over 3 days this week. :-)