• Fibromyalgia,  Teaching

    Light Breaking Through Cracks

    This morning was full of twitching, pain, dizziness, and exhaustion. My candle was running low. It couldn’t be burned at any other end. My head became so heavy that I laid my head on my desk during planning. Just a little sleep…maybe? No? Okay. I walked into my 3rd-period class and my mood was immediately lifted. I hadn’t been able to come to this class because I had been testing a separate group of students for two days. The co-teacher and interpreter exclaimed how they missed me and the students had been asking for me. It was good to see my students and make sure that they knew they were…

  • Teaching

    Bullying vs. Teasing

    What is the difference? Deaf and Hard of Hearing students especially have difficulty with the distinction. It is considered a language milestone for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students to distinguish sarcasm within everyday speech (Language Learning in Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing by Easterbrooks and Baker). I asked some of my Deaf and Hard of Hearing students what they thought the difference between bullying and teasing was. Here are their answers: (signed conversation) Student 1: Bullying is when people say mean things, and it’s not teasing. It’s not. Student 2: I think that maybe bullying is when you don’t know a person and teasing is when you know…

  • Teaching

    Self-Advocacy

    As both a co-teacher and a deaf and hard of hearing teacher, I am faced with my students’ need for self-advocacy skills. I was recently struck by some material I was reading over in order to teach a lesson on the differences between ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), and 504 (from the Rehabilitation Act of 1973). When comparing how these laws aid those with disabilities in high school versus college, I came across some interesting wording: “In general, the burden of responsibility shifts from K-12 school to the individual college student. College students must contact Disability Support Services, prove eligibility, and make their needs…

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