Category: For Students

As I sit here thinking about the new year and lesson planning:) I ponder on the reason why I teach the subject that I do or why I teach at all. I teach my subject because it stems from who I am.. a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults). My mother and brother was deaf, I have one brother still living who is deaf also. My mom had a personality larger than life with blue eyes and Carmel skin and a heart filled with faith. Her motto in life and for her family is in all things keep the faith. She passed away five years ago but each day feels like it has not been that long ago. I think of her to remind me why I do what I do..teach ASL. I could teach anything but ASL is my passion it is the electricity that ignites my core.

I remember our experiences growing up in a Deaf family some good and some bad but I use those experiences to make a difference with the students I work with. My mother never let anything interfere with her life plan, each of my brothers (both have blue eyes too) and stood against discrimnation..against audism to become the people who they became. My twin brother sadly passed away three years ago and he reminds me to “try life” to live and love and not regret. I share that passion with my students as well. I love them whole-heartedly as their teacher, mentor and the person who may be able to make a difference in their lives so they can make a difference in someone elses.

All in all, I strive to remind myself of my purpose as a teacher and the subject I teach. My purpose is to show the importance of American Sign Language to the Deaf community and the hearing community and to bring life to the lessons I teach. As well to make sure I empower and educate others to reach out and connect with populations other than their own despite their abilities and in abilities. Most of all, to keep the lessons of my family in my spirit to keep me passionate about who I am, will become and what I do.


Use this video to practice your beginning receptive skills. After watching the video answer the questions and go back and watch the video to check your answers for understanding.

1. How many hearing students does Howard have?
2. What did the Deaf students understand?
3. What homework did Howard give them?
4.Is Howard deaf or hearing?
5. What are the students excited to do?

Students are excited to learn ASL and to demonstrate thier skills. I love to see my students show me new signs they have learned or ask so many questions because they are intrigued with ASL. One of the number one concerns students have is how can signing skills be lerned or are a few strategies for learning ASL.


1.Focus on learning a certain amount of signs at a time and become skilled in using those signs in conversation.

2.Sign Language uses facial expressions and body language don’t forget them. Use them at all times! A facial expression can change the meaning of a sign.

3.Focus on the overall signed conversation: Mostly the face but don’t forget about the hands and body language.

4.Participate in signed conversations by following along and showing active listening behaviors.

5.Find resources to assist with your learning. Such as  books, online dictionaries and videos.

6.Form a group to pratice with. These can be family, friends or deaf community members.

7.Practice, Practice, Practice.