While I have been in the teaching game for awhile now, blogging is new. As in–this is my first post! So, here is to new experiences!
Inclusivity is a concept that often is something as a teacher I try to do in my classroom. I understand everyone learns differently and all students deserve a teacher that empowers them as learners and meets them at their need. However, just when I think I have it down, I always get a curve-ball that reminds me I am still growing as a teacher.
One semester I was given advance warning that one of my students was Deaf and would have sign-language interpreters in the classroom translating my lessons. As a “seasoned” teacher this both excited me, as it never crossed my mind that a Deaf student could be a scenario in my class, and terrified me.
Prior to the first day, I was super nervous on how my pace might cause issues with the translating, or the awkwardness that might be there when there is another adult in the room that is just an observer. I asked many questions prior to the first day to help prepare my expectations and be prepared for the student. Luckily, all of my fears were immediately put to rest.
The translators were so professional. The student was AMAZING!! She advocated for herself letting me know what she needed, and the translators and I worked out a good pace. As a teacher, I felt empowered in the idea I can help students learn regardless of their situation. As a learner, I realized being an effective teacher will always be a welcoming continual evolution.
In the end, I remember walking away from the class with a real sense of how our educational system has evolved into possibilities for anyone who desires one. This is progress. And, this is inclusivity!
A side note: I have two children with learning challenges, specifically short-term memory challenges. When they were diagnosed over ten years ago at the age of 7 and 9, I remember asking if they could still go to college or if that was even an option. The first teacher said it would depend giving me the maybe. The second without hesitation said absolutely. As a mom, I want my children to have every option available to them, but as a special education mom, I was unsure what that would mean for my children. After this experience, I was so much more confident in the my children’s future options.