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Help please

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Old 08-22-2015, 11:41 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Help please

I am a special Ed/regular Ed teacher. I have a 1/3 class of deaf/hoh students and 2/3 typical students. They are 4 and 5 yrs old. Their last year was full of upheaval when the deaf Ed teacher died and they had subs with no training from dec. to the end of the year. This yr. they have a gen Ed teacher, teacher of the deaf, and an interpreter. The interpreter understands development. The teacher of the deaf insists we must change interpreters every grading period. Parent feels they need the consistency of the same people as their world was so rocked last year. What is the right thing in this case? Thanks so much!

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Old 10-29-2015, 01:34 PM   #2
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Re: Help please

Does the teacher of the deaf also do sign language to the deaf students in class? Or is the teacher a regular teacher? I'm not sure I understand what you mean. I have worked as a deaf interpreter in the classroom before in years past. I am also the parent of a special needs child. Trying to decide what is best for all, why would the deaf teacher want to change interpreters?
I have worked as in interpreter for over 20 years, and usually from the interpreters point of view, once you know the student and how they sign, its much easier to communicate with them, since each student has their mannerisms and way of talking. This brings comfort to the student that they know someone understands them completely, as opposed to bringing someone new in every month who may misunderstand them due to various factors.
Now apply the circumstances, that a child needs to be consoled at this point, not made to feel more insecure. If the teacher is afraid that the children get too attached to the interpreters, let me tell you this is a common problem in my line of work. I have to distance the children, not give them affection, but rather interpret just as if I was the teacher. The teacher may or may not show affection to the child. When the teacher is speaking in a kind manner of loving manner to the child, I make sure that comes through in my interpretation of what the teacher is saying. But when I am sitting next to the child I'm interpreting for, I try not to let the child get too involved with me personally, because children, or interpreters, do move on in life, or in this case die. The children that were emotionally attached to this interpreter must be devastated. Its a very close relationship that they develop, because that person is the only connection they have to the rest of the world. So the bond is hard to avoid, and would be as if they lost a close friend or relative. I would say look for an interpreter who is trained in being just that, an interpreter, and while being caring, tries not to allow that close bond to form. The perfect balance is hard to achieve. Of course, if it had been the teacher who had died, that could also devastate certain children that formed a close bond with that teacher. I would suggest having 2 interpreters,(maybe job sharing) and them trading off with the different deaf children so they aren't working with just one child all the time.
Sorry about the long-winded explanation.

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