Archive for December 22, 2012


The joys of teaching in a classroom are great however sometimes I look at my skills and wonder where did they go? As a former interpreter I had opportunities to network with other interpreters daily. I could always ask what the new sign was or a variant of one or if there was altogther a better choice to use.
Now that I am in a classroom that is more like its own world, some days I do not even leave the confines of its wall. I find that I may have to think twice before selecting and producing a sign. In addition, if I don’t network with other professionals I become reliant on various curriculum and texts.
I know that real-life experience, direct communication is best that is how native signers maintain thier skills and improve receptive and expressive skills along with other resources such as videos, workshops and other options.
So what do I do when I feel this way and don’t want to go to textbooks, websites or my routine videos???
I get out there and network, attend events, use skype or google chat to connect with deaf individuals, attend deaf organized meetings or simply go back to my roots as a reminder of how the community signs. That way I have a broader selection to offer students to include: community signs (varies depending on a lot of factors), curriculum,updated signs learned from Deaf professionals and other signs I can round up.
It can be easy to fall into the routine of classroom teacher and satisfactory skills but if you love ASL like I do you always seek wayslearn new information to improve yourself.
If you are a teacher, interpreter or fluent signer in another profession what are your thoughts how do you maintain your skills?

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This is a great video to show first year students and expose them to all of the things Deaf can do. I use this as one of my introductory lessons to begin the process of changing thier thinking. I begin with asking students to list all of the things deaf people can’t do or experience and report back to the class. Next I show the video and after the video I ask them to share with me all of the things deaf people can do and experience. I also ask them to share thier feedbac on the video. At the closing, I ask students to leave their hearing mentality at the door and focus on what the deaf community and thier language can do as this is the way they will be successful in class (in the deaf world).