Considering an entire day, having a class of six is a vacation for some teachers. This is not the situation though for a hearing impaired program's lady instructor. Thanks to a three year federal grant, her six students aged from 5 to 15 are given the opportunity to engage in a program done by the local special education cooperative. The coop serves 19 school districts with various classes in learning disabilities.
Out of the six students, two are hard of hearing and four are profoundly deaf. Only needing special assistance are the hard of hearing for a decibel loss of 60 or less but they can function in regular classrooms. 90 decibels or more is the loss experienced by the profoundly deaf. Here hearing is impaired requiring students to avail of special learning methods. Utilizing hearing aids of their own, students from the class for the hearing impaired have personal devices suited to their hearing needs.
Thanks to a special audio device used in class the students are able to hear instruction from the teacher. On 83 radio frequencies, the phonic ear system can be operated. Because of receivers in their ears, the children can receive instruction from the teacher who speaks through a microphone. It is possible for a teacher to speak with a student without interrupting another one's work as different frequencies are available.
After a ride for some 11/2 hours long, the students arrive at the school where a one room facility is located that the teacher describes as fantastic. Specially made things result to a massive expense for this kind of facility. The carpeted room is full of visual aids and audio equipment and includes a complete kitchen. Actually, the kitchen is also a learning tool wherein language is taught through recipe interpretations.
Considering how language is highly necessary for these children, the teacher does nothing without language. Permanently storing words in the mid requires for 10,000 repetitions. Even if some find this boring, these students cannot do without it. Objects and descriptive words can be taught with the assistance of sight for the hard of hearing. With other words like time, tomorrow, yesterday, and today come little meaning nonetheless.
Plenty of teaching methods are being utilized. Since it is important to give a learning experience where there is total communication the teacher uses signs and speech. Teaching students lip reading also provides for another mode of hearing and this time it is through lip movement. With favoring oral instruction comes the demand for students to communicate through verbal means. Without the need for different communication practices our society may begin to accept these children easily.
Touch is also a viable learning tool and this is through the tactile method. A student will touch the throat and feel the tongue of the teacher to understand the g, s, or th sounds. Entering the classroom comes with the knowledge of probably having a student's hand in her mouth sooner or later. Instruction is provided in the subjects including spelling, math, grammar, and social studies. When it comes to the preparations for integration into a regular school system, a student may be tasked to take up subjects including gym, music, typing, home economics, speech, and auto mechanics. Attending the class is a matter of being 18 years old and younger.
Some people may have questions when it comes to why she wants to deal with the hearing impaired. Considering her career choice, she does not hesitate to answer. It happened when she was five, they found out that she had a hearing problem. Without cartilage in her ears, she also suffered from closed eustachian tubes. Hearing loss was solved for this teacher and the people she worked with through corrective surgery. With regard to children who are hearing impaired, she knew she will be of help when she was in the fifth grade.
After graduating from an Illinois college, she received a special education degree. Afterwards, her next challenge was in a Florida university and this is where she managed to graduate with deaf and elementary education degrees as well as earn a certificate in learning disabilities. After teaching in Fort Lauderdale in a school for the deaf, she came to Southwest Kansas two years ago. No other alternative but to listen is given to every student as her phonic ear system sends the sounds directly to his ears and this is a big help especially when she has a number of things to accomplish for the day.
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