The Penny

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.

[Wednesday, March 31, 2010]

My Favorite Student

Don't believe any professional who tells you that they do not have a favorite. They do. It's only human.

My favorite student (MFS) is awesome. Of course, that's why he's my favorite. And trust me, the feeling is mutual. He doesn't show it as obviously as my other student in his class, who hugs me and pressed ILY handshapes into me, but I know I'm his favorite teacher.

I typically pull MFS for auditory training every Wednesday. This is his private session. He is happy when I come into his classroom to help with reading and journal, and he is happy when I pull his with the group, but he definitely makes it clear that he likes HIS time--one on one. A couple of weeks ago, I had a meeting on Wednesday afternoon, so I missed pulling him. Instead, I pushed into his content time at the end of the day. Or planned to. As soon as he saw me, he started gesturing and babbling--don't know why he didn't just sign it (probably because he's reprimanded for signing by some people). He finally went to his mailbox and showed me his library book. Ah, got it. Typically I pull him directly after media... We drop off his library book in the classroom on our way to my room. MFS gave me an annoyed look. I guess the message was, "Hello, woman, I've got a library book here, WHY AM I NOT IN SPEECH??" Naturally, we went straight to my room.

This child loves speech so much that he will choose speech over PE. In my experience, 7-year-old boys choose nothing over PE.

Today, I again had a meeting (today being Wednesday, his private session day), and I missed pulling MFS. I went into his classroom as they finished content and packed up, and MFS signed, "Speech none DARN." I told him that he will have speech tomorrow, and he was happy. And I told him that Elayne was coming to read a story tomorrow, and he was very happy! He met Laynie once a few months ago, but of course she made a big impression: She's the only deaf adult he's ever met. Also, she is Just. Like. Him. When she showed him her CI processors, he about fell off his chair. He picked up at least a half dozen new vocabulary words from interacting briefly with her, the most important being "cool."

So Laynie gets to go to the school as the yearly deaf adult visitor for our little D/HH group. We'll see how it goes. The teacher of the deaf is so disappointed that she will miss the morning pull-out group, when Laynie will read a story, because the TOD has to go to a CPI refresher (non-violent crisis prevention intervention). But I think Laynie will hang out for the pull-out sessions in the afternoon, so she can see MFS and another newly implanted child. And we're going to watch a fairy tale in ASL! The teacher of the deaf has a DVD of some fairy tale being told in ASL, so we're going to pull the kids out of content time to watch that. Hooray for an ASL literacy day! These kids really need it, because their program is so English-heavy. What a perfect last day before spring break.

Another story about MFS: The journal topic today was "bald eagle"--write anything you know about bald eagles, which the class (kindergarten) has been studying in content. MFS dutifully wrote his sentence, "Bald eagle have small egg," and then he went into this long story about a mouse nearly being eaten but getting away at the last minute. I had missed content the day before, so I asked the paraeducator if they had talked about a bald eagle eating a mouse. They had not. I asked MFS more about it, and he clarified that it was a cat trying to eat the mouse. Hmmm. I asked him if he had seen that on TV, and he said no, but he is pretty shaky with his vocabulary about home activities (because his family doesn't sign, so no language development at home). I didn't believe him. But he said, "Computer. T-O-M." Fingerspelled Tom. Of course, Tom and Jerry! Seriously, half of my time with my students is spent in guessing games like this.

And just for the record, MFS is also the favorite of both interpreters AND the teacher of the deaf. Everybody wants to take him home and give him language. But they'll have to fight me for him.


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