Classroom Interpreting for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students
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Classroom Interpreting for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

[MUSIC PLAYING] Because sometimes my
teacher talks too fast and I can’t really
understand what she’s saying. I have a hard time kind of
discerning what she’s saying. And I can’t learn
without an interpreter. That’s why I need
an interpreter, and also because I
prefer to understand what my teacher is saying. And they all help me because
they want me to use my brain. They want me to think and
help me to learn on my own. So they kind of
guide me to that. Sometimes, I communicate with
hearing kids a little bit. I understand them. Sometimes I don’t
really understand them. So I have to ask my other
friends, who’s hard of hearing. And she comes over, and
I’ll say, what did they say? Can you tell me what they said? And sometimes she kind
of interprets for me and tells me with the
hearing people saying, just Mrs. Poteet. My role in the classroom
is as interpreter. And that means that I sign
everything the teacher says and voice everything
the student signs. I take what the
teacher says, sometimes rephrase it if there’s not
a complete understanding for the student, take time to
ask questions of the student, and make sure that I
understand exactly what they’re wanting to say. First thing that
you need to do– [STUDENT INTERRUPTS] –when you have a number line– It was kind of scary have the
interpreter in there at first because she interprets
every single thing I say, and she interprets everything
that the other students are saying. So a lot of times,
I would just have students yelling out answers. And you really can’t just have
lots of students yelling out at one time. You have to make sure that just
one person’s talking at a time because the interpreters
can’t interpret have five different students
talking at one time. At first, it was a little
hard, but I got used to it really quickly. I am strictly there for
communication purposes. I don’t step in and teach. I support her in
helping expand on maybe with the students’ needs are. I write and monitor the
IEP goals for the student. Mrs. Legg is in charge
of planning the lessons for the general ed curriculum. I’m the one who keeps data
on everything that they’re doing in the classroom. We talk about the students. I am responsible for taking
what she is doing and modifying, or accommodating,
so that my students are able to achieve
at the same level as everyone else
in the classroom. She’s in there to help
with the deaf students, but then, she would also
sometimes help my other kids as well. I look at her
lesson plans and see what skill she’s targeting
and reading and writing for the weekend. And I incorporate them
into my lesson plans. I have to make sure that I stop
my lesson at a certain time so that she could
pull out her students. Because there are there
are times when I’m like, I want to extend this
lesson a little bit longer but I know I can’t
because her students are leaving. And I don’t want
them to miss it. So I have to make sure
that I kind of slow down when I’m teaching. I try to use a lot more visuals. Deaf students cannot take notes
and listen at the same time, or watch an interpreter
at the same time. So be aware that if you’re
asking them to write, then hold off on
what you want to say. Sometimes a lecture style
can be overwhelming, all of that auditory
information coming in can be overwhelming
for the students. So they might not
always get every piece. So I’ll go to the board, and
we’ll look at the visuals, and I’ll break it down
for them some more so that I can make sure that
they’re getting the concepts, too. There’s just so much
curriculum that we have to cram into the one year. So we have some
intervention time. So during that time, I can
pull some groups of students that I feel really need
some extra support. Our role is not to
come in and take notes on mistakes or things
that are said in the classroom and report back to anyone. We are strictly there as a
member of the educational team. We want the same things for the
students that the teacher does. If there’s something
that needs to be addressed in the classroom, I
let the teacher address that. Really, I feel like the
interpreter, Mrs. Legg and I, we’re all a team, and we all
communicate with each other. Even though I was super
nervous at the beginning, I actually would prefer
having her in my classroom. I picked up a little bit of
sign myself– a little bit. So it’s actually been
a great experience. [CHATTERING, MUSIC PLAYING]

About James Carlton

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