[nobe-l] teaching questions
goldendolphin17 at hotmail.com
Sat Feb 13 19:30:45 UTC 2010
You wrote right after I reached my designated break in grading, hence the quick reply. Good timing! As for memorizing names, I do force myself to memorize first names alphabetically the first weekend after the first week of school. I simply drill it. I take three names and commit them to memory. Then I add three more and try all six. I keep building. Sometimes when I am feeling very confident, I'll take roll that next Monday without paper, and this impresses the heck out of the kids! I don't always do that, though. I don't memorize last names in this exercise, but I add those gradually. Does this mean I know their voices? No way! You will learn the participating kids' voices quickly as well as the trouble-makers. The quiet ones, you may never learn. I always tell them to identify themselves by name when they talk to me outside of the normal classroom scene. So, if they have a question after class or see me in the hall, I require that they say who they are. It can be awkward, but it is worse when I assume it is someone and get it wrong. Again, if that voice has become very clear for whatever reason, it is good to say Hi Sam when you see San, but context changes voices and connections, so I don't venture that often to doing that unless I'm pretty confident. Also use context clues about their conversation topic, their height, and other such factors if you are talking to someone without knowing for sure who it is and you don't want to ask for whatever reason. As for getting bored, I do get bored after repeating things too many times. I then change things up with new lessons. For instance, I am teaching TALE OF TWO CITIES right now for probably the ninth time. I love the book, and the kids struggle with it. I tried something new with the chapter where the poor slum of Saint Antoine was described. I made modified Bingo cards, designated the three pages in the chapter that had the most descriptions of poverty, had them divide into groups, told them to fill in each space with a specific detail of poverty, and played Bingo with it the next day. I made a list of 35 details I found in that segment and numbered them. I randomly picked a detail to read out. The kids had put their details in different boxes and circled a detail when I called out one they had. Because their cards had something like 24 slots and I had 35 details, it was likely they had many of mine, even if they didn't understand Dickens all the way. When they got Bingo, they read me back the details. I had candy for them if they got Bingo across, which was only three spaces. The team to be the first to get Bingo downward with eight spaces got extra credit. To spice it up, I tossed them the candy! Not necessary but darned entertaining. They had fun, learned, got comfortable with my blindness and bad throws, enjoyed a treat, and saw that even Dickens could be enjoyable. I didn't do that last year. I probably will do it for a few more years, and then I'll trust my creativity to come up with something new. So, if you are passionate and creative and willing to try and fail or succeed and be okay with both, you will not be bored for long. Plus, you might not teach the same thing each year, and book adoption means new materials periodically too. Good questions.
Kathy Nimmer: Teacher, Author, Motivational Speaker
Even if the shadows of the valley hide your view,
You still must believe in the mountains.
> From: aadkins7 at verizon.net
> To: nobe-l at nfbnet.org
> Date: Sat, 13 Feb 2010 12:46:57 -0500
> Subject: Re: [nobe-l] teaching questions
> Hello Kathy,
> I do appreciate your willingness to answer questions. I do have a few for
> First, do you have a secret pneumonic device for memorizing the voices of
> your students. I know this is a silly thing to worry about, but I am in
> college classes with all different students. Many of them know me on site
> from class to class, but I sure do not know them, unless I have worked with
> them more closely within the class.
> Second, I am interested in working in the field of blindness. I want to
> actually teach at a school for the blind or in another position that would
> allow me to work specificly in the field of blindness. I am going into
> Elementary Education with a specialization in Language Arts because, first
> of all, I love to write, and, second of all, this school does not have a
> degree in vision or even Special Ed. My concern is with teaching students,
> whether they are blind or sighted, I am terribly afraid I will get bored. I
> have taught before, and I am excellent at motivating students. But, I found
> that if I taught computer technology or Braille all day, I became bored.
> This was in a position where I had maybe five students, all in various
> stages of accepting their disability. Fortunately, in that particular
> position, my boredom was not a major concern because I could switch my
> subjects and move around, such as from the Computer lab to the Braille
> classroom or inside or outside the building when working with students
> during Travel class. So, my question is: do you have ways to keep yourself
> from getting bored while teaching. If you teach Shakespeare every year, for
> instance, it seems you would know it so well that it would become
> monotonous. I am active and like to switch from task to task. I am
> terrified that if I teach, I will eventually, after a few years, become
> bored with the same routine. Maybe, what I am really asking is do you have
> any ideas on various careers in blindness that I could explore? I would
> love to teach and lecture and to show blind students that they can be active
> and independent, but I also want to do more than that, such as research or
> work with Braille, etc.
> Thanks. Anita
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Kathy Nimmer" <goldendolphin17 at hotmail.com>
> To: "blind teachers" <nobe-l at nfbnet.org>
> Sent: Friday, February 12, 2010 3:40 PM
> Subject: Re: [nobe-l] Quietly I introduce myself
> > Hello everyone,
> > Well, I've sure enjoyed seeing the discussions from so many to-be
> > teachers. It is hopeful to me that people are entering the training
> > process with an eye on this field, even though the odds are against them
> > for hiring in a normal public school classroom. I am someone who was
> > fortunate to go against those odds. I am in my eighteenth year of teaching
> > English and creative writing in a normal high school classroom in a large
> > public school in Indiana. Never would I claim to have all the answers to
> > what must be many questions, but I am willing to give some of them a shot.
> > I know I might be in a position to help those of you in college and
> > looking toward a teaching job, so I invite you to ask away. I even had
> > one list member come out to my neck of the woods to observe for three days
> > this past August, a wonderful experience for both of us. She is student
> > teaching right now. Again, nothing I do is the ideal or perfect answer for
> > everyone else, but I do do it and have for several
> > years, not with success early on but with success far more often than not
> > now. Should we change the subject line if we're going to do an open back
> > and forth q/a? In between scanning and grading fifty historical short
> > stories his weekend, I'll gladly offer my limited wisdom and will probably
> > end up learning more from you than you do from me! Hear from you soon.
> > Kathy Nimmer: Teacher, Author, Motivational Speaker
> > http://www.servicedogstories.com
> > http://guidedogjourney.livejournal.com
> > Even if the shadows of the valley hide your view,
> > You still must believe in the mountains.
> >> From: iamantonio at cox.net
> >> To: nobe-l at nfbnet.org
> >> Date: Wed, 10 Feb 2010 00:07:49 -0500
> >> Subject: [nobe-l] Quietly I introduce myself
> >> Hi all,
> >> I hope we are all busy at teaching, or learning how to teach, since I
> >> have gotten no mail from this list in the past couple of weeks since
> >> subscribing.
> >> I am a member of the National Federation of the Blind of Rhode Island,
> >> and subscribed here because I am at school to become a social studies
> >> teacher.
> >> Some of you may know me from the NABS list, or the NFB of Florida, or the
> >> NFB of Massachusetts, and some of you will come to know me as a student
> >> at Western Governors University.
> >> This online university is where I currently attend, and it is where I
> >> will obtain a bachelors in social studies teaching 5/12.
> >> I am optimistic about getting a job after graduation, and I expect my
> >> hopes of employment to become realized. In other words, I want to, and
> >> expect to land a job.
> >> Right now all I can do is to work hard at school, and hope for a bright,
> >> if hectic teaching career.
> >> I have no specific questions at the moment, but hope to see some list
> >> traffic.
> >> Are there blind teachers here? what do you teach, and are you listed in
> >> Where the Blind Work?
> >> Sincerely,
> >> Antonio Guimaraes
> >> If an infinite number of rednecks riding in an infinite number of pickup
> >> trucks fire an infinite number of shotgun rounds at an infinite number of
> >> highway signs, they will eventually produce all the world's great
> >> literary works in Braille.
> >> Shop online and support the NFB of RI at no additional cost to you.
> >> http://www.givebackamerica.com/charity.php?b=169
> >> Givebackamerica.org, America's Online Charity Shopping Mall
> >> _______________________________________________
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