Saturday, 11 February 2012

Can I Still Teach?

Well, I have survived my first day of teaching (tertiary) since going deaf. Not sure if my students can say the same thing!

I taught all day Friday, one group in the morning and a different group in the afternoon. I decided to get the "'I'm deaf" thing out of the way early so to start my session I told them all about myself (like I normally would) and then explained that I wasn't 100% human. This got their attention. I then went on to explain the computer implanted in my head which made me a cyborg (half human and half robot). When I finished my explaination and demonstrated how my CI works I then gave them a few strategies to use when in my class. Raise your hand when I call the roll so I can "see" that you are present. Wait until I move over to you before asking your question (I haven't a hope of hearing them while I'm standing at the front of the room), and always face me when speaking to me. I also reminded them that if they are talking about me behind my back to make sure it is behind my back or I'll lip read them! One other thing I spoke about was to always touch me on the arm or back first before speaking to me rather than call my name.

Anyway, the students all knew about me so I thought I'd turn the tables on them. I could have asked the students what they hoped to get out of the course (yawn) but instead I asked them what made them weird and wonderful. I had no idea what worms would crawl out of that can!!!

I had students share their inner most fears, amazing stories and bizarre things about their bodies (including demonstrations)! One student told me about her experience as a surrogate, one student has pig bone in his leg, I had numerous double jointed students, several that had had near death experiences, several students with strange medical conditions and some with stories that left me with my mouth wide open in disbelief. It was one of the best lessons (and the most fun, boy did we laugh) I've ever taken and I've taught tertiary for 16 years. I think I'm in for an interesting semester!!!!!