Identifying vision and hearing problems as early as possible is one of the main objectives when it comes to our youth. When a child has difficulty hearing or seeing it can have lifelong implications if not dealt with soon as possible (at the earliest age).
As a parent I was always concerned with my son not hearing or seeing something inappropriate. It never occurred to me that he could have genetic issues or problems resulting from the environment he was in. For instance, he has been an avid video gamer his whole young life. Until this lesson, I did not realize that constant, loud and repetitive sounds were not good for his hearing. So that race car going around and around the track making a lot of noise was not a good way for him to spend his time as a preschool or elementary school student. It may have impacted him academically.
After viewing videos on both vision and hearing on the Changing Brains: Effects of Experience on Human Bran Development website, I have a new found respect for our fragile youth.
“In the first few years of life, hearing is a critical part of kids’ social, emotional, and cognitive development. Even a mild or partial hearing loss can affect a child’s ability to speak and understand language (kidshealth.org).”
As a teacher I am not just concerned with one student, but I must observe all of them for any hint of hearing or vision defects. Although by the time they reach middle school there should have been early detection, the truth is our youth remain fragile for many years. Especially those in under-served/impoverished communities. They remain at-risk due to environmental issues such as poor nutrition, exposure to alcohol and drugs, and often a lack of routine pediatric visits. The school nurse becomes the primary medical source for those kids.
“Children should be examined by an eye doctor during infancy, preschool, and school years to detect potential vision defects. Did you know that a child can pass the 20/20 test and still have significant vision problems which will interfere in school, sports and/or social life (children-special-needs.org)?”
The ears and eyes are connected to the command center (a.k.a. BRAIN). Early detection and remedy of any issues concerning sight and sound could make the difference in the life of a young person who aspires to be a healthy, happy adult one day.
After watching the videos: Brain Plasticity and Imaging/Development on the website: Changing Brains: Effects of Experience on Human Brain Development, I realized there is a lot more to teaching than standing in the front of the room and sharing lesson plans. How am I impacted by this information as a teacher?
Our youth are fragile human beings that require a lot more than most realize. Specifically, they require individualized attention in a collective world. Because the child’s brain is continually developing and as a teacher I have a great deal to do with the sensitive periods during that development, I must be both deliberate and considerate in my teaching method.
I want to see each of my students grow and mature to a healthy adult life and way of being. My greatest contribution as a teacher can only take place during the minutes I have them in my classroom. For me, those moments are precious. The deliberate actions taken must be positive and reinforce building a healthy brain. The activities we do in the classroom, the conversations we hold, and what I expose them to all play an important role in building a strong foundation for their future growth and development.
My least favorite phrase (especially while teaching) is, “I’m bored.”
Why? Because it is a red flag that as a teacher, I am not doing what I should be. There shouldn’t be a dull moment. Engagement is the name of the game!
As a new teacher, this is my number one focus – STUDENT ENGAGEMENT. I am always looking for anything that will help in this area. My students shouldn’t be bored! They should be on the edge of their seats inhaling knowledge. They should be so interested that they long for every word I speak and they look forward to participating every opportunity they can!
My goal is to become the best teacher ever when it comes to student engagement!
For a second I was disappointed in myself because my grade wasn’t an ‘A’ – then I came to my senses and snapped out of it! The fact that I received a B grade for this class is a real blessing. Why?
I managed to complete this course in record time after being terribly behind on my academic schedule. It’s no secret that I would not be in this Teaching Internship if I did not have to be. I completed my Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees a long time ago. Returning to school for this purpose was not my first choice in life. I had to! To remain provisionally certified to teach in the State of Arizona, this program was mandatory. Not to mention accelerated!
I started out with the best of intentions to be on task and complete this course with an ‘A’ grade like the others. Instead, my 73 year old mother who lives alone, and I am her only offspring, had spine surgery just as I am starting this semester. I spent the night at the hospital every night she was there. I slept in the room because heaven forbid anything happen to her and I was not there.
I thought I would do my work while there, it did not happen. Each day, I grew more frustrated at my situation but wasn’t composed enough to do any work. I could not get motivated!
Not to mention, I am teaching full-time in the classroom (four periods – two 7th and two 8th grade). I am so grateful for my friend and colleague, Jackie – who is a reading interventionist, for helping to keep me sane. She has made copies for me and reminded me of “whose on first, and what’s on second” daily. I adore her!
I am so glad I made it to the end of the course. At the end of the day. I am grateful for this B!