[nobe-l] childcare and supervision of kids

Smith, Pauline L PSmith4 at dmc.org
Fri Jul 14 12:16:46 UTC 2017

Good Afternoon,

I was fortunate enough to volunteer in a classroom where the teacher allowed me to hone my teaching skills within her classroom structure.  It was an elementary VI resource room with a very open teacher.  Once I proved that I had the basic skills to work with her students, we worked together on honing my skills.  My biggest confidence builder was when she trusted me to take charge of her entire class when she was absent and no paid substitute teacher was provided, which was the case most of the time.

I will concur with Heather on the need to find places that are open and willing to incorporate nonvisual teaching strategies into their activities.  Otherwise, her suggestion of networking with other blind teachers would be best.

Pauline Smith, TVI
Braille Instructor


-----Original Message-----
From: NOBE-L [mailto:nobe-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Heather Field via NOBE-L
Sent: Thursday, July 13, 2017 3:10 PM
To: National Organization of Blind Educators Mailing List
Cc: Heather Field
Subject: Re: [nobe-l] childcare and supervision of kids

Hello Kayla and Ashley,

I run my own private, in-home school and have worked with preschool age children.
I am also a friend of Brandy Wojcik, who had her article in Future Reflections.

I believe that Brandy and I would both tell you that volunteering where you are not able to organise your environment and structure rules and activities to allow for easy incorporation of nonvisual techniques is not the way to go in trying to acquire teaching experience.
It can be very demoralising and discouraging as you are setting yourself up to fail, since you're not able to set the teaching space and activities up to allow you to set the rules and use nonvisual teaching techniques.

I am a qualified special education teacher and learned to be a successful educator by working in my own classroom, and in mainstream classrooms, where I was able to set things up to suit my teaching methods as a blind teacher.

Brandy worked at a daycare for a number of years where she was also able to organise things to allow her to work using nonvisual techniques. She then went to college and became a qualified teacher.
So, we both developed our nonvisual methodology in an environment in which we were able to control the variables.
If you are able to experiment with what techniques work best for you in the environment where you volunteer, seeing the same children often enough so that you can teach them how you want them to interact with you, then that sounds like it would be very useful for you.
However, if you're volunteering where the sighted people are always in charge and aren't willing to make adaptions for you to take your place as an equal in supervision and involvement, using nonvisual techniques, then it sounds to me as if this would not be worth your trouble.
Indeed, since the children haven't learnt your rules and requirements, it is usually discouraging.
Learning some good behaviour management strategies is very important and it's unlikely that you'll do that in volunteer programmes. The author John Rosemond is my favourite author of books that set forth solid principles for behaviour management of children of all ages. Although his books are directed at parents the principles are applicable in the classroom. His books are available in Kindle format and would be useful for you to read.
Other than that, I'd encourage you to talk to some blind teachers who are already working and get an idea from them about how they teach from day to day. This will be much more helpful for you, in terms of deciding whether you have the temperament and strong enough desire to do what it takes to become a teacher, than putting yourself in volunteer situations where you are up against so many problems created by working in an environment based on how sighted supervisors work.
Of course, this is just my opinion.
The National Organization of Blind Educators has a website where you could probably contact blind school teachers who would be happy to talk with you.
I would also be happy to chat with you by phone if you're interested. Just e-mail me off list if interested.

Heather Field
-----Original Message-----
From: Kayla James via NOBE-L
Sent: Thursday, July 13, 2017 1:16 PM
To: National Organization of Blind Educators Mailing List
Cc: Kayla James
Subject: Re: [nobe-l] childcare and supervision of kids

There was one lady that I know who is totally planned and runs, where he used to run, her own home daycare. I was interested in that and found her article in future reflections. I can try and send you the link if I can find it. Sorry for the typos.

Sent from my iPad

> On Jul 13, 2017, at 12:05 PM, Ashley Bramlett via NOBE-L 
> <nobe-l at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I'm interested in contributing to children's well being and learning 
> in a fun way.
> Toward this end, I want to be hired as a child care staff member.
> I'm considering going to grad school to be a teacher still, but a part 
> time job working with kids will allow me to get experience and save up 
> some money.
> Is anyone providing childcare here? What are techniques you might use 
> to keep track of kids and know who is doing what?
> The childcare environment has many of the activities you kindergarten 
> and first grade educators might do.
> So, even though you might primarily be a teacher, the same skills 
> might apply to me.
> The childcare job  is in a county recreation facility; the purpose is 
> for staff to provide childcare while parents are pursuing recreation 
> activities at the  center. The activities in the childcare room 
> include, legos, puzzles, coloring books, small games such as a circle 
> game, some outside activities, and arts and crafts. Other than 
> supervising the kids coloring or a paint craft activity, I think I can 
> be involved. I have tunnel vision and cannot see what they are drawing 
> or coloring. So, perhaps, another staff member can do this part.
> What do you think? However, I can definitely get on the floor with 
> them as they play with legos, blocks and puzzles. Not only do they 
> make noise I can hear, but they also are tactile which enables me to 
> touch them to know what kids are building.
> Thanks.
> Ashley
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