Summer is fading fast and schools are stocked with Back to School Specials and School Supplies. Teachers and students alike are frantically trying to get one more dip in the pool, one more quick vacation, one more late night icecream before summer fades into fall. It is so true that summer goes far faster than Jan, Feb and March.. time is truly a mystery.
The last few years have been..well, tough, for students and staff. Pandemic, school closures, masks, no masks, masks, virtual learning, virtual teaching, rules of what can and can't be taught, children relearning how to literally sit and listen or sit and watch.. mentally and physically exhausting for all. Due to these issues and more, many staff are fleeing the profession. There are limited Deaf and Hard of Hearing teachers to start with, because the DHH population is only 10% of the population... and now with staff leaving, where does this leave your child and our teams?
Many districts are choosing to hire teachers without licenses. Some feel that if that person was in the military, they know discipline. Some feel that if that person was a skilled welder, or studied History in college, they have the knowledge to teach a subject. I strongly believe staff need training in how to teach a child.
I believe teaching starts with a child's heart. As Flip Flippen states and teaches, "Capture a child's heart and you will capture their mind." We need to see children as whole humans. .. whole children who need love, attention, understanding patience, differentiation and respect. They also need to be taught their abc's, reading, science, history and math. Staff needs support from home and at school.
I believe neither home nor school can educate our children. We must work together to create safe spaces for our kids. Get your kids excited about the upcoming year. Create a resource to share with your child's teacher about their strengths , interests and areas of need. Help your teacher see your child as the wonderful and unique person they are. Cheers to the rest of summer!
Allison Schley is a teacher of deaf and hard of hearing children. She took her passion for kids with hearing loss and became an author. She wants all children with hearing loss to know they are amazing and that hearing loss will not keep them from following their dreams.