Hello everyone and welcome back! I took a break , while life took its ups and downs.. I think it is so important that we all share the hard times and then the solutions you have found navigating virtual school for your children. I know as a Teacher of kids who have hearing loss, it's been a struggle. My students are not Deaf and do not sign.. some ways that has been easier, but also some ways it has been harder.
Virtual School Pros: no need for masks when communicating! My mouth and facial expressions are fully accessible during instruction. However, a con is that internet can be choppy and words can be hard to understand over the virtual platform. The bonus is we use Google Meet and it has an option of captions-great skill to teach your children!! However, when I want to do listening skills with my students, they are smart enough to know they can get help from captions, so that's a bit of a struggle!!
Isolation is already a thing sometimes for kids with hearing loss, as they can't always hear the whispered jokes or giggles in class, and students often say,"Oh, it's nothing." VS taking time to repeat to children with hearing loss. That said, there is definitely more isolation noticed for all kids who are virtual,but I see my kids with hearing loss really missing that 1:1 in person interaction. We focus alot right now on the physical health and safety for people during this time-please take note of your children's mental health, too.
This is a tricky time for staff and students,but I also feel like it is a great time to work on advocacy skills-kids have to be very specific in telling me what part of their hearing equipment is not working, so we are learning parts , etc. I want to hear some of the struggles and how they have overcome them. Please leave a comment below!!
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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.