Once again I have been given licence (and a license) toÂ educate children. Â I love to make kids think. Sometimes my methods are a little unorthodox, but they are usuallyÂ fun.
Today I was in a special needs classroom with 3 hearing impaired kids and their aid, Ms. Ash. Â Cognitively there is nothing wrong with theseÂ kids, they’re just a little behind because they are having to relearn life with cochlear implants. Â It takes them a little longer to process verbal input becauseÂ their brain isn’tÂ accustomed toÂ hearing, but they are plenty bright.
So, Jay was out of the room for a while for speech. Â When he returned, I was sitting in his desk beside two other students and we were working on a science project. Â Jay walked up toÂ me. “Uhm — uh –” he pointed at his desk.
“Yes?” I answered. Â He needs to verbalize his thoughts, not just make sounds.
“Uhm.” he said, and pointed again.
“Oh!” Â I smiled brightly and said, “Hi! Â My name is Jay. Â This is my desk and here is my name tag.” Â I ran my hands over the desk top and pointed at the name tag.
Jay glanced over at Ms. Ash. Â She shrugged. He turned back to me and said, “What?”
I repeated, “My name is Jay. Â This is my desk and here is my name tag.” I tapped on the name tag then asked, “Who are you?”
Jay looked over at Ms. Ash again. Â Again she just shrugged. Jay turned back to me, put his hands on his hips, and said, “Your name isÂ not Jay.”
“Really?!” Â I tried to sound very surprised. I leaned forward and studied the name tag.Â Feigning confusion, IÂ looked at him.Â Â “Are you sure that’s not my name?”
JayÂ frowned again, and then answered, “Noooo.” He looked uncertain for a moment, then took a deep breath and said. “But I am sure that my name is Jay; this is my desk; and that is my name tag.”
“Really?” I exclaimed.
Jay nodded emphatically. Â I grinned at him, we all shared a laugh, and I got up and moved.
Fast forward to the end of the day (about six hours later):
As we were cleaning up to leaveÂ Ms. AshÂ announced, “Ms. Teacher will be out sick tomorrow, too, so Ms. A. will be coming back.”
Jay looked up from putting the blocks away, “Who is Ms. A.?”
Ms. Ash pointed at me.
Jay looked at me, raised his eyebrowsÂ and smirked, “Oh, you mean Ms.Â Jay?”
* Â * Â *
Yep. Â I am going back tomorrow. Â They pay me for this.