How would you feel if your child had a teacher who was deaf? Okay, Okay let me make myself clear - How would you feel if your hearing child had a regular education teacher who was deaf?
Hmmm...This has been the debate I was part of today. Because what do teachers do on a day off, but talk about education and stress. I wondered what the parents of my past students felt the first time they met me. I wonder how they felt having their child in my class. How do people with a disability or impairment become their career title first and the disability second. I really wonder if I ever can be just the teacher, not the deaf teacher or the hard of hearing teacher.
When I decided to change from Pharmacy to Elementary Education, my mother was so angry. Why, why, why she said. I told her I wanted to make sure each child in my classroom would receive the best education. I wanted to make sure the children were first - a child-centered classroom. The majority of the teachers I had were fantastic, just the best. It was just this one teacher who tried to take my love of learning away. I wanted to be the one who caused students to fall in love with education - books, math, thinking, and learning. I hope I have been successful.
I have been so prosperous to be at the same elementary school for 14 years. I love the people I work with. I love the students and the parents. I love even the boxes that hold my mail and the lunchlady who feed me cucumbers when I was pregnant with Jenna. Teaching is not a job, it is my life. Hearing, hard of hearing, or deaf, I hope I taught others that being deaf is not a disability, it makes me, ME.
Now back to the orginal questions - do you care if your child's teacher is hard of hearing or deaf?
I've raised my kids, and I'm partial to deaf people since I'm deaf myself, but I can truly say that I always thought any exposure to diversity my kids got in or out of the classroom was a GOOD thing. The younger children are when they learn we are not all the same, the more tolerant they become of differences.