Wednesday, May 19, 2010

...and this is what I heard.

Earlier this week, while subbing for a class at school, I decided to have the children act out a script that was in their Reading books about Outer Space. I had about 7 kids up front, all lined up facing the other students, you know the ones that needed to be busy, who can't sit still, and about 9 kids remained in their seats as audience members. I took a seat in the rear of the classroom. Now, the room was very quiet, they were actually paying attention to this play. When I sat down, this room of tiled flooring, white boards on the walls with tennis balls on the bottoms of the chairs...wasn't as quiet as I had thought while I stood in front of the class. Granted I was in the back, catching all distractions forward, but I could barely hear the students with the softer, higher pitched voices, and I have normal hearing! About the time 'crew member 1' began speaking, all I heard was, "swishhh, swishhhh, swishhhh." I look over and a kid was sharpening his pencil with a hand held sharpener. After I was certain the thing was sharp enough, I snapped my fingers to get his attention and motioned for him to put it away....we weren't using pencils anyway. Another kid was getting antsy and shuffled his feet (constantly) and yet another with allergies was sniffling the whole time (nothing we could do about that). But my point is, the room sounds a lot different sitting down, in with students than it does standing up. It may be something good for the teachers/principals to try...going in and sitting down, it won't take 5 min. to discover all the distracting noises...always make sure your kids are in the best seat possible in regards to their hearing loss, ask an audiologist or Teacher of the Deaf where your child needs to sit in his/her classroom to maximize hearing. I'm also thankful we have an FM system which I'm sure helps a great deal also. I had turned Gage's off though during the play (I was in his classroom at the time) because I wasn't the one teaching, it was all the other students and I didn't want them handling or passing the mic randomly around each time one character spoke, we had the read-along so he could keep up with that.

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