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Teaching Deaf Children In Mainsream Units


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Hi. I've just joined today. I wondered if there's anyone else out there like me- aTeacher of the Deaf working within a mainstream setting. our children are profoundly deaf and we mainly use sign language to communicate within a very oral setting. love to hear from anyone with similar experiences

Chrissiet

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Sorry can't help....just wanted to say hello & welcome. Have recently been on a 'say it & sign it' course which we were told was similar to british sign language. I found the course very interesting.

mrsb

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Hi I am not a teacher but a T.A working in a mainstream reception class supporting 1 child who signs! 'E ' is the only child in the school who is profoundly deaf. It makes for an interesting! experience. :o

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Hi Chrissiet, hello. :oxD

I cant help either but when I was in juniors (and you can work out the year yourself!!) there were two children in my class who were deaf. Deborah and a boy. I dont think they were profoundly deaf because the teacher used a microphone only they could hear through their hearing aids. I loved them being there but they didnt stay long. :(

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Hi I am a reception teacher in a school which has gained an award for our approach regarding inclusion. Several years ago I taught a child who is profoundly deaf, she is fantastic. We worked really hard on her self esteem and self awareness. I did this by working with the whole class using circle times etc we also had a all year display showing pictures of the children; stating what they are good at (this helped her to realise that she has skills that others don't) We also had circle times where we discussed our difficulties. I do this every year now.

She can lip read but uses sign language as well. Her class were encouraged to provide peer support and we were open with them in terms of her needs i.e. to look at her when speaking etc. They also learnt songs, rhymes and topic words using sign language, she loved this. She is fully included in all school activities and is quite a performer! However, she does not like to be put in the limelight if not on her terms. The children in her class use her radio aid as part of whole class and group discussions. She loves role play and has made social skills books demonstrating key emotions such as bullying etc. I loved teaching her and continue to be a part of her progress through my role as SENco.

Hope this is helpful

Munch

Munch

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Thanks to all the replies. I was so excited to see that there were already some there. How sad am I? This could be a bit addictive couldn't it?

Anyway it was lovely to hear about those children in mainstream school who seem to get lots of support. In our school we have 24 deaf children in all- some with additional difficulties- all with very different and unique circumstances. There are 3 F2s and by the end of the year, there'll be 7 F1s- rather a lot at the moment in fact. The mainstream staff are learning Level 1 and some are learning Level 2- respect to them. The children answer the register in sign and learn sign songs too. After a while we start to see hearing children use signs outside. I think the most difficult part of my job is encouraging the mix between deaf and hearing children as there is always a tendency for both groups to gravitate towards others like themselves.

Just a quick word to Munch- that little girl sounds as if she's doing really well, I have a colleague whose daughter has had a progressive hearing loss and has just gone to university and my own daughter is also at university with a severely deaf girl who is doing medicine. Someone once said to me that deafness isn't a disability- it's an inconvenience. So it doesn't have to stop anyone doing anything.

Sorry for going on so long. Thanks to everyone again.

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Hi Chrissiet,

Totally agree. It has taken this little girl a long time to come to terms with her deafness. A real turning point was when she met a teacher of science who was deaf. This teacher came into our school to met her and talk about her personal experience. Our girl was so impressed that this person who was deaf had achieved so much. She now realises that although she is deaf she can function highly in a hearing world too. She also takes part in theatre groups outside of school, we are so proud of her. I think it is her zest for learning and life that has enabled her to succeed, something we could all do with at times! Keep up your good work.

Munch

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That's lovely. We also find that it helps if the parents also meet deaf adults- helps them to see their children have a future(something they do worry about.)

Could I just ask mrsb what a 'say it and sign it' course is? I've never heard of it.

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H Chrissie

I also worked in as school with a hearing impaired unit, with a variety of children with all sorts of hearing loss. We used sign language, which all children learned basic signs, some used radio aids, and we recently had the soundfield system installed. These are great even for non hearing impaired children, and certainly save on voice strain in a busy classroom.

 

Some staff formally had sign language qualifications, I got to level 2 myself and then gave up! My best friend was an interpreter for the deaf, her job was really interesting.

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  • 4 weeks later...

My computer's been broken so I haven't been able to post anything for a while. Great to hear from Mundia. Your unit sounds very similar to mine. We also have a sound-field system. I'm also very impressed that you got so far with your signing.

For the past year we have had a Deaf member of staff who teaches signing classes and then works in school for part of the week. It's an absolute joy watching how she signs a story. Our mainstream staff are also learning signing and as a result there are more signing conversations in the staffroom and our F2 children are now seen much more as members of the class even though I have to withdraw them for literacy and some maths.

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Hi chrissiet

 

I didn't welcome you when I read your first post - sorry! I'm sure you'll enjoy the forum - there's a wealth of expertise and experience on here to exploit!

 

I was interested that you call yourself a 'Teacher of the Deaf' and had a query about current terminology. I raise this because one of the professionals I come into contact with calls herself 'Teacher of the Hearing Impaired'. I like to use clear, appropriate language which won't cause offence whilst not pandering to every whim of the PC-brigade!

 

'Hearing impaired' sounds a bit PC but does appear to be more inclusive, whereas 'deaf' seems to exclude those children who can hear, but have slight or significant difficulty.

 

Is there a concensus of opinion about the language we should be using?

 

Maz

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We use the term teacher of the deaf, which is a specific role for which training will have been attained. AS far as I know you still train as a 'teacher of the deaf' and this is what will be stated on your certificate.

Hope that make sense?

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We use the term teacher of the deaf, which is a specific role for which training will have been attained. AS far as I know you still train as a 'teacher of the deaf' and this is what will be stated on your certificate.

Hope that make sense?

As ever, you make perfect sense.

 

I have the impression that the lady I'm talking about is highly qualified and experienced - I wonder if she has taken her title from the organisation she works for (part of our Borough, I think) or changed it to reflect the terminology used in our area? Perhaps I'll pluck up courage to ask her when I see her next...

 

Anyway - how sad am I that I spend time cogitating about these things in my spare time?

 

Maz

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This is quite an interesting area, because it touches on Deaf culture and identity. It's true that the qualification is called Teacher of the Deaf. It can be argued that hearing-impaired actually highlights that there is something lacking, something not quite perfect. There is a strong Deaf community in this country who are very proud of their language and do not see themselves as lacking in anything and actually prefer the title Deaf. Please note that Deaf is used with a capital letter which also strengthens its status- on a par, many feel, with an ethnic identity. As I work with Deaf families and professionals, I adhere to this preference.

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I absolutely agree Chrissie. I remember many years ago going on a rally to get BSL officially accepted as a language in the UK, and that was one of the key messages.

I also remember my tutor and friend saying that Deaf identity transcends cultural identity that Deaf people are Deaf first and then whatever their ethnic makeup second.

 

I don't have as much contact within the Deaf community as I did then so you have reminded me Chrisse, so thanks for that!

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This is quite an interesting area, because it touches on Deaf culture and identity. It's true that the qualification is called Teacher of the Deaf. It can be argued that hearing-impaired actually highlights that there is something lacking, something not quite perfect. There is a strong Deaf community in this country who are very proud of their language and do not see themselves as lacking in anything and actually prefer the title Deaf. Please note that Deaf is used with a capital letter which also strengthens its status- on a par, many feel, with an ethnic identity. As I work with Deaf families and professionals, I adhere to this preference.

Thank you so much for this chrissiet - this is why I love this Forum so much! It is great to have an environment where we can pose questions like these which others might take as frivolous or insulting. Thanks to all your feedback I now have accurate, up-to-date information so I can feel more confident in my use of terminology.

 

Oh, and I might even be brave and raise this question now with the Teacher of the Hearing Impaired when I see her next!

 

Thanks again

Maz

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  • 1 month later...

Hi

I'm just catching up with the posts and came across your posting, thought I'd introduce myself! I'm also a Tecaher of the Deaf and work in a school for the Deaf. We now tend to get a mixed intake of children who are Deaf and / or have other communication difficulties. I currently teach a small class of Reception children and we use SSE as a means of communication, having children who have cochlear implants. I have stage 2 CADCAP but don't tend to use BSL as much as I used to due to the changing nature of the intake. I'ts good to hear that there are more of 'us' out there! Keep in touch as it's good to share ideas. Meanwhile I'll go back to looking for inspiration for Animal Topic webs!!

Bev

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Hi teachers I work alongside are referred to as Hearing Advisory Teachers :( I am a nursery nurse and support children in mainstream settings a.m and an early Years Educator in a differant setting p.m :( with responsibility for outdoors and intervention work :oxD Interesting when I can clear the fog in my head :( Out of interest what would your thoughts be on the role of intervention worker???

Thanks Sandra

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