Saturday, November 22, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
If any of you know any information, please pass it on. I learn so much from all of you.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
I read that question just this week, of course it made my mind turn and think. The only answer I could come up with is this, while I accept my deafness, it doesn't mean I like it. It does not mean I haven't tried all available technology, so I can have access to sound. It doesn't define me. It just is.
So how do you feel about being deaf? Do you accept it, dislike it, neutral, or love it?
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
BUT HOLD ON- There teacher, me, is a deaf individual teaching phonic to them. Not just sounds, words, I mean speech phonics. Then I say Oh my goodness....how did it happen. Who has the faith in me.
In the spring, I lobbied to teach a fantastic program called Language! by SoprisWest. Language! is a program that assist the children to develop into independent academic readers. It builds the foundation from the bottom. I lobbied for this program. I camped out in the office for this a chance to teach this. I begged, I did everything to be able to teach this. Why?? One reason, many years ago my 2nd grade teacher didn't give up on me, and my goodness I will not give up on these students. I want to be the one teacher that said I believe in you. I will teach you how. I will show you how. I will support you. This program is why I teach. And now they are learning. I see smiles and effort and most importantly self-esteem. Can one program do this? No, this isn't like any program I have ever taught. It's real. It works. Look another day, and I can't wait to go teach my students. I thank my principal for see me instead of my deafness. She hired me 15 years ago even after I interviewed at 7 other schools. She saw me not my deafness. She supported my CIs and is always right there to lend a hand. This person is giving me the opportunity to live this dream. A dream to teach and a dream to change the direction and life of a child. Got to go.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
***When you drive six plus hours, my mind gets stories going. I wanted to write this one before I forgot it. I have a good on dysfunctional and special education. And Abbie what was the other idea I had.....I hope you remember...******
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Why........I can use the phone to talk to mom or my sisters two, three or more times daily. I can tell through the sound of mom's voice how she is feeling. That is a blessing to really hear her! (I spent my life without the phone, each day I feel more and more comfortable on it.) I heard tears yesterday. I'm going home Friday for the long weekend to hug my dad and say goodbye. I'm sure he is waiting to say goodbye to Jenna and myself. He needs to find his peace.
My dad passed away at 3:53 P.M. August 26, 2008. May he watch over us from heaven. I love you dad.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Then my mind pondered, What makes type of partner or parent or even child can accept hearing loss? I came up with one easy answer. A person who sees deep down in your heart and sees the real you! They don't care about turning on a light or translating for you or even removing you from frustration. They learn a new language just to communicate with you. They fight for an appropriate ASL translator, so you know your important enough to have the best. They practice sounds and create time just to help understanding with sounds. They sit in on meetings IEP or others just make sure the best education is available. In short it comes up to two words - LOVE and ACCEPTING. I am thankful for all the times Alex just turns on the light!
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
As I watch my dad become the shadow of himself, he reminds me to enjoy my life. He came into my life at the age of 18. No one has ever loved my mother the way he has. There love is a real love story. So thank you dad for showing that the best dads are not always the first ones. Most importantly thank you dad for accepting my deafness and me without question. Love you Poppi get well.
Now onto the cochlear implants, it has gone beyond my expectations. Thank you Dr. Ladabie, Susan, Vanderbilt, and Advanced Bionics for this overwhelming second half of my life. I really feel so complete. I get to hear my daughter talk and keep doing my wonderful career. I wish I would have done it 20 years ago. With tears in my eyes, as I think of the past year, a rebirth.
As I watch one life slip away, it is important to make each day count. Tell your family and friends you love them, show them, make those changes, it can be too late. Do let life slip past without living it.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Thursday, June 5, 2008
I am in discord. I'm frustrated and disappointed with this turn of events. As a deaf person, you have violated my trust and my respect. JJ left a comment on Ben's blog. I have not heard anything from any other of the Human Editors. Here is my comment from Ben's site:
"What is interesting is most of us CI bloggers don’t agree either. We have different opinions on CI, AVT, ASL and all, but we seem to be united in our support for Rachel.
At least you have this inside view from your friendship. That is great! I don’t have that. I have to go by what is posted.
Is this a plot to remove CI blogs from DeafRead? Since DeafSide has not happen. I don’t know. All I know is that it validates how my family and I were treated 37 years ago when my mom reached out to the Deaf Community and was turned away. Same views different times."
I am asking each of you your answer to my comment. Thank you, Valerie
Jane Addams, first woman Nobel Peace Prize Winner 1931
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
We can sugar coat it anyway you want, plain and simple, Rachel's views are viewed as not d/Deaf enough.
What this is, is censorship. Instead of DeafRead being a resource for all hard of hearing, deaf, and Deaf persons; it is now a place that limits ideas and information. Where else did I find out about how important unity is? Where else did I learn that you should fingerspell parsley and other spices? Where else did I learn how outspoken and interesting Jodi is? Where else can I go to find out what happens on Hell's Kitchen? Or even lessons in transplants and implants? It is more than just a site to me, it is a place to learn more about my life.
To remove Rachel's site is just wrong. Don't sugar coat it! We are intelligent enough to read between the lines.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
There are so many educational jargon that is used in development of an IEP it leaves others speechless or signless. The process involved in development and assessment for an IEP is a process and the document is developed yearly. There are several documents involve in identification of special education services. I want to discuss the Individualized Education Program. It is a 5 page annual document that list the programs, goals, present level, and accommodations for the student. Here is a site that shows Kentucky's IEP: http://web.utk.edu/~sbenner/IEP_Tutorial/parts.html Here is a site that list ideas for deaf and hard of hearing IEP's: http://www.ibwebs.com/iepindex.htm
An IEP has several parts and data used to create it. The process that special educators go through in creating its development, mostly focus on data to show progress and modifications. This site gives the break down of the parts of the IEP: http://www.schwablearning.org/articles.aspx?r=73
Each state uses programs for set up of IEPs. Even within a state, county schools might use different programs. My county uses SEAS( http://www.computerautomation.com/) and many others within the state use a program called Easy IEP. Each assist in creating IEPs and maintaining records and data progress monitoring. It depends on what the school system has approved for instruction. All school districts follow federal guildlines in identification of students disabilities and types of services that can be used. Just because a parent feels the service is valid, the school can say the service is not available and provide an alternative program or say the service is not needed. I can not list programs because each school. district, county, state, or residental school is different. As in each IEP is unique. At the school ask, what type of accommodations do you usually have based on this disability. If you don't ask, then you will not know if a service is available. Also some services or accommodations are not available at every grade level or school. Just believe your friend has this accommodations does not mean it is needed for your child.
Since I work in Tennessee, that is what I have knowledge of. Tennessee has a 35 page parent's rights that is given at meetings. Here is the link: http://www.state.tn.us/education/speced/doc/spedrights.pdf In order to find your state rights, just google (the state) department of education. Then find special education and most of the time it is on that page. I stress this at meetings for parents to read this document and highlight anything that is important. Also keep all paperwork in a folder or envelope and together. If you don't get a folder at the meeting, ask for one. I always try to put my IEPs in a folder for parents. That way if you have any question, go back the document and rights, and review it.
The IEP is a working document and not valid until it is signed by the parent. Each IEP is only good for 365 days. When parents come to the meetings, they should not be worried about changing the document. If you feel something is not to benefit your child, ask why and what else. Also if you feel the document is not workable, do not sign, schedule another meeting. Remember you are the parent and you should question the document as well as any education program set up for your child. Also ask yourself, is the accommodation realiable for the child's academic success? Is it valid for success in the classroom? Is the accommodations needed for the child to be the LRE or should the child go to a more restricted envirnment? Another suggestion, write any question out on paper, the meetings go quickly and you will forget most. Remember this is your child and his document.
What is an individualized education program?
An individualized education program (IEP) is a written plan for a child with a disability that is
developed and implemented according to federal and state regulations. This plan includes:
• a description of your child’s strengths and needs (present levels of performance);
• a statement of measurable annual goals and instructional objectives related to meeting
your child’s needs;
• a statement of the special education and related services and supplementary aids and
services to be provided to your child, or on behalf of your child.
• a statement of how your child will be educated and participate with other children with
and without disabilities.
• a statement of how your child will be involved and progress in the extracurricular and
other non-academic activities in the general curriculum.
• the explanation of the extent, if any, to which your child will not participate with nondisabled
children in school activities;
• a statement of any individual modifications your child may need to participate in state
• if the IEP team determines that your child will not participate in a particular assessment,
the IEP must include a statement of why the assessment is not appropriate and how your
child will be assessed;
• the projected date for the beginning of the services and modifications described in the
IEP and the anticipated frequency, location and duration of those services and
• transition statements;
• a statement of how your child’s progress will be measured and how you will be regularly
NOTE: At least one year before your child turns eighteen, the school district is required to give
you a statement that your child’s legal rights will transfer to them at age 18. Your
child will then be allowed to make educational decisions for him/herself, unless you
have a court order from a judge declaring your child incompetent to act on his/her
In the next post I am going to break down each part of the IEP. I hope for those of you who have children with IEP you are aware of your rights. For parents who have meetings coming up, I hope this helps in the "what am I looking at?" situation. I believe every educator wants children to be successful in the classroom. We want children to have everything they need to gain knowledge, but in reality an IEP is just one tool, not the whole toolbox.
An IEP is not a magical document that "cures" anything. No window is going to open and all the knowledge your child needs, be placed out infront of them. It is a document that allows parents, teachers, and students to monitor progress and assist the student to be successful in the LRE(least restrictive enviroment). I real key to quality education is a "big secret!" I'm going to let you in on it - it takes caring teachers, determined parents, supported community, creative adminstrators, and finally the will of the child.
What is a meme? A meme is basically in two ways:1. Meme--pronounced 'mem', a memory2. Meme--rhymes with 'theme', a theme where I am tagged to answer questions about 'me' or myself...
Here's my 6 words:
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Went back to sleep and about an hour later, I woke up again to him touching my cochlear implants. I said that is it!!! I sat up and scared him. " Alex, why are you touching my implants."
He said, I wanted to feel how they felt and ......
Friday, May 2, 2008
I sat in an IEP meeting yesterday. Another teacher cut off the parents' questions and insulted the other members of the team. She did not take the parents concerns seriously. I spoke up and took the meeting from this teacher and back to the parents. I don't want to be part of this type of teachhood.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
I wondered how I made it 2, 5 or 10 years ago with some of the current technology that I have surrounded my life with. When did a GPS replace map quest or the pull out map? How did I cook dinner without a microwave? That electric toothbrush really cleans. The joy of itouch with music and Internet at the touch of a finger. Even my laptop with WiFi, so I can sit in the living room watching digital television while doing lesson plans. Don't even get me started on e-mail!
Friday, April 18, 2008
Here is a little question for you. The answer will be at the end of the blog. Remember you can not take too long to answer and do not use a calculator. You can use scrap paper.
Math Question TCAP test has four parts, Reading, Math, Science and Social Studies. Each part has two sub test. The mean time for the test is 54 minutes. My class has extended time, which means 1.5 of the test time. We take each 2 sub test a day. There are two groups of students taking this test, a morning and afternoon group. Each group has the same accommodations. What is the told time, I spend reading the test aloud per day? How long the whole week?
What moon phase do you not test any children during?
A. Waxing Crescent
B. Full Moon
C. First Quarter
D. Any Moon
Social Studies Question
Who Am I?
I created a law that holds schools accountable for academic progress of students.
I think state testing is the only way to measure if the schools are doing their job.
If schools do not "pass" testing, I will take money away from them and I will not support them.
I am the reason thousands of teachers have been pulling out their hair.
Who am I?
Read the top 10 list and find all the mistakes in grammar and punctuation.
This is what I have learned this week:
10. Chocolate is the best to jump start the brain.
9. McDonald's has the best sweet tea. Just wish they added an extra shot of caffeine.
8. When you are ready to start the test, someone will have to go to the restroom.
7. All pencils will break, always have backups.
5. Students really want to do their best, it is very stressful for them. Keep humor and hugs available.
4. M&M's are good, the green taste the best. Boys hate the pink ones, but will eat them too!
3. I paid 8 dollars to help the Boy Scouts go to camp. I was able to dress in jeans all week. Thank goodness for comfort.
2. Whatever you do, do not drink anything near a test.
1. Number one thing I learned from testing........It will never tell me what my students truly know. It will never tell me what I know and how I teach.
1/2 it's done......
Jenna and I are off to Georgia for dance competition and visit with my mom and dad. I am going to enjoy it.
1. too long
2. Any moon
3. Like you don't know
4. too many to count....
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
I admire the hard choices parents make for their children. I wish it was available 36 years ago.
I was asked about educational practices. My teaching does not pull from one philosophy or teaching. I take some from each. One practice I use daily in my classroom is Dale's Cone of Experience(went to school in the 90's, during Whole Language movement). In theory or in a nutshell, the more the student involve in the teaching and learning process, the more they remember and understand.
I use others like Rigor and Relevance, Best Practices, and others. Teaching has changed so much in the 14+ years I have been teaching. Everything I do is based on research and data. Progress monitoring and common assessments are the norm. I loved teaching when it was just teaching. Now I understand teaching. Teaching is not just for giving out the skills, it enables the student to build on prior knowledge and develop into a lifetime of knowledge. That in a nutshell is my classroom. Hey it's 4:40 A.M. and state testing week, I'm whipped!
Monday, April 14, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.3. At the end of the post, the player tags 5 people and posts their name, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
I have to answer questions and people I tag have to answer the same questions, so here I go.
What was I doing 10 years ago:
Ten years ago I was just around 2 months pregnant with Jenna. I was teaching 3rd grade at the same school I have been for the past 14 years. Since I had terrible morning sickness, I did not cook for 9+months. I lost 20 pounds in the first 3 months and Alex gained around 30.
Five Snacks I enjoy:
In a perfect, non weight-gaining world
1. Nachos with extra guacamole
2. Dr. Pepper - it is a snack by itself
3. Banana Pudding - the real kind with whipped cream from Golden Rule
4. Raspberry Scone with a large Chai Latte with extra Whipped Cream from Starbucks
5. Pecan Pie, not the frozen kind. I burn all mine.
In the real world:
1. Rice Cakes with water
2. Hot tea with equal and coffee mate
3. Sugar Free Jello with fat free whipped cream
4. Diet Dr. Pepper with the label covered
5. Watching Food Network and dreaming
Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
1. Buy our dream home.
2. Keep teaching just for the fun of it.
3. Set up scholarship funds for all the students in my school. Give them the dream of get a degree and hopes for the future.
4. Setting up funding to cover hearing aid cost. Most insurances do not cover the cost of hearing aids.
5. Get Alex the phone he wants. Since he has to wait until I am a billionaire, not getting it any earlier.
Five jobs that I have had:
1. Office Manager at a Print Shop - I worked with Jamie Bishop. He was killed at Virginia Tech.
2. Salesperson at Family Dollar - Mom got the job for me. The customers were stealing garage bags full of stuff daily.
3. Sub teacher - Great job, never had to stay in one classroom for more than a day.
4. Teacher -same school same Principal, moved into 5 different rooms.
That is all the jobs I have had, what can I say I don't like change.
Three of my habits:
1. Making the bed even before Alex gets up. I just roll him off.
2. Keeping desk clean, I hate fluff and mess. My drawers are messy, but the top clean.
3. Double checking to make sure I have my extra batteries.
Five place I have lived:
1. New Jersey - born in Neptune
2. Kingston, New York
3. Jackson, Georgia - home of the state jail.
4. Pine Mountain, Georgia and also the Valley
5. Ft. Campbell, Kentucky
Add one new part, What do you want others to get from your blog:
I hope others see my humor, dedication to my family and friends, and love of teaching. It is not about CI this and CI that, it is about a way to connect with others and hopeful learn something.
Five People I Want to Get to Know Better: (a nice way of saying TAG!) But don't feel obligated! Just do it if you want to.
1. http://contradica.blogspot.com/ - my buddy Abbie
2. http://soundcheckmama.blogspot.com/ - rock n roll mama Tiff
3. http://cyborgqueen.blogspot.com/ - my cyborg queen
4. http://atrude777.blogspot.com/ - awesome Alex
5. http://deafkidscanhear.blogspot.com/ - the first original Val
I love all your blogs and visit them often. I can't wait to read your answers.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
*Broke up two fights, two girls and two boys. Girls are the worst since their arms and hands are everywhere. Boys are strong and hard to separate. I worry about damaging my processors. So I had to be careful.
* Jenna's dance competition in Nashville last weekend. Both dances won Gold. They also won the spirit award.
* I was up until midnight last Friday making my "spirit shirt." It said C.I. love the Dance Force. Only I understood what it meant.
*5 IEP meetings in two weeks and 2 left to do. No chance that 6 IEP meetings. It takes a good hour and half to complete the paperwork on each. I still have two to write or is that right.
*My students have forgotten everything since August 8, 2007. Worst I have forgotten too. If I hear the words mean, median, and mode or figurative language, I will scream!
*Run through - Principal lost her e-mail, Alex wants a new cell phone, Jenna wants a cell phone, can't see utube video for princiapl on school computer, can't copy it, and finally the dog is crazy!
* I heard the words I hate! You speak so good, I can't believe your deaf. My comment back was if I spoke so good, then you would never know I was deaf! I'm tired of that ignorance. Teachers should know better.
*A group of students said on Friday after the fight in the classroom, Mrs. D., I'm glad you broke up the fight and your okay. I don't want you to get hurt. So I guess there really are good kids, been so busy I forgot.
I am working on my blog on IEPs, it seems long and I want to see if I can make it shorter and more interesting.
I'm off to get my hair cut and out for BBQ with the gals. And NO Jenna and Alex have not gotten a new cell phone, I'm not listening to them.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
This pass weekend I had the joy of watching my daughter dance at dance competition in Nashville. There is nothing better than watching your child do something with so much effort and determination. Then over to the side during awards, I heard two parents talking. Each were making reasons why their child did not "win" within their category. One reason was the dance teacher had not "helped" her child and the other was her child being tired. WHY.....I had to bit my tongue. Stop doing that! Accept the outcome without blaming others.!
My mom's comment back to me was, Val stop it! Do what you can, study what you can, learn what you can, ask questions, ask for help, and finally just do it. Who said it would be easy. The important things in life are not easy, but worth it. If you don't believe in yourself, who will! And most importantly, who should if you don't.
So finally after awards on Saturday, They won two gold awards. I looked at my child with those big brown eyes and said Jenna, I'm proud of you! She said back to me, mom this was the best day. I got to dance!
Stop blaming others, start accepting responsibility and finally if you fall along the way, ask for help to get back up.
Monday, March 31, 2008
Before I left, my wonderful niece Paisley(named after Brad Paisley), called me and asked if I would teach her class sign language. How do you say no, I don't know enough.....I said yes, of course.
So I went to Pay's kindergarten class armored with my ASL book and an ABC book to teach with. I explained why people use ASL and why I am learning. I showed them my speech processor and cochlear implant. Then I read the ABC book and taught the ABC's. We sang happy birthday in sign language. Then we learned feelings, parents, and food names. The kids were so excited. I mean they ate up each sign and could not wait for more. I wished I was more fluent. I guess by the time Pay is in Middle School, I should have it down pack.
The highest complaint was when the children went to lunch and they were trying to sign to each other. I heard one girl say, signing takes the place of your voice. Let's practice. Another one said, I can't wait to get a book at the library. I want to learn more. I was so happy just to see the smile on my niece and my daughter's face.
Jenna and I had a wonderful trip. I can't wait to go back next month. I had a CI moment at mom's. I was in another room and mom made tea. She called Valerie come get tea. Oh course, I heard her the first time, but I was interested reading my blogs(Micheal's blog). She called again and said, Valerie you can't pretend you don't hear me anymore, I know you heard me. I laughed that mom knew I heard her. So I went to drink my tea and laugh.
So now we are home and trying to get going this week. I plan to post a blog on IEPs. I want to address the foundations of it. I also plan to post a blog on rigor and relevance and data in relationship to education philosophies.