[nobe-l] New THOUGHT PROVOKER #151- The Braille Princess

Robert Newman newmanrl at cox.net
Mon Nov 16 10:20:57 UTC 2009

RE:  The Braille Princess

Here is a classroom setting, it is the first day of a new school year, there
is a blind student who is asked to show and tell Braille. If you have not
read the PROVOKER, it follows.  Recall that I collect responses and post
them upon my web site for all the WWW to read and learn from and that URL
is- Http://thoughtprovoker.info <http://thoughtprovoker.info/>   If you wish
to receive THOUGHT PROVOKERS sent directly to you, just write me and ask,
at-  newmanrl at cox.net 

The Braille Princess
 "This is our first day of kindergarten." The faces of the small children
grouped around the teacher all looked up with energy filled expectation. "I
want us to talk about one very, very important skill all teachers want their
students to learn. It is reading. First, to make sure we understand new
words --- what is a skill?" Teacher and students shared back and forth,
clarifying several key words.

The teacher asked, "How many of you can read?" Nearly all hands shot up. "Oh
my, what a smart class." Testing prior to the beginning of school had shown
the teacher each student's skill level. Nearly all of them could read, most
only a few words and a very few could actually read beginning children's

"Why do you think being able to read is important?" Many voices and hands
answered her question. 

Pointing to a small girl bouncing on her knees, hand pumping, the teacher
chose, "Breanna."

 "To read to your mommy and daddy."

"Good answer. Reading to your parents is an excellent reason. Thank you." 

After taking several more answers the teacher moved into the next phase of
the day's plan. "It is also important for you children to learn from one
another. Today, I have asked two students to bring one of their favorite
books and read it to the class. And by the end of this school year, I expect
that you all will have your turn." Indicating the kid-size chair at her
side, "Michael, you are first."

Seated, the small boy nervously fingered his brightly colored book, holding
its cover forward to show it to his audience. "My favorite book is 'Ruffles,
The Big Red Dog." Positioning it on his lap, he began reading.

"Thank you Michael. And now, Kendra. Please come up to our reading chair."
Tapping the chair, the teacher watched the small girl with her arching cane
home in on the sound guide.

"Students, remember, earlier today, we learned about why Kendra uses a white
cane when she moves around the school." 

A young voice from the audience said, "She blind." 

"Yes, she is blind." Carrying on, the teacher said, "And so now we are going
to learn about Braille, which is how Kendra can read." 

The small girl seated, cane at her feet, the teacher asked, "Kendra, first
please show and tell us the name of your book. Then tell the class a little
about Braille."

Composure intact, Kendra answered, "I learned to read when I was three. You
read print because you can see it. I read Braille, because I am blind and
blind people read Braille with their fingers. Braille is raised dots. I can
read as good as anybody." She raised the book up for all to see its cover.
"My favorite book is the 'Princess and the Pea.' My daddy calls me his

"Hey," exclaimed a student! "No picture! No letters!"

After the stories were read, the teacher again addressed her class. "Miss
Young, my assistant has arranged the chairs in a circle. Each of you have
your own chair, your name is on it. So to find your chair, you must read the
name-tag." The classroom noise level fell, then swelled; expressions on
faces ranged from blank wonderment, to knowing intelligence. "Reading is
important. I know some of you cannot read yet. However, soon I expect that
you will. So for help now, ask your neighbor or Miss Young or me to assist
you." The noisy reading and sorting began.

"She's sitting in my chair!" The outcry of the small red-haired boy was all
but lost in the overall noise level.

"Kendra --- Tommy, we need to check the label," intervened the frazzled
Para. Lightly touching the petite blind girl sitting quietly on the chair in
question, "Honey, did you feel for the Braille label on the back of the
seat?" Leaning forward to look herself as she spoke. 

 "A problem here?" The teacher walked up. 

"Oh my," Miss Young looked at her boss, "the name-tag is missing." 

"Tommy knocked it off and it fell on the seat," said the boy from the next
chair over.

"Yes, I'm sitting on my name," said Kendra. "And Tommy, you need to learn to
read Braille."

The eyes of the two adults met, both smiled, the teacher said, "Kendra, we
are going to call you, our Braille Princess."

Robert Leslie Newman 
Email- newmanrl at cox.net

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