I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out where to start with this blog. I have so much to say, so much to teach, and so much to learn that there is no good starting point.
For the past month since winning 2013 Kentucky Elementary Teacher of the Year, I have been interviewed for various TV news shows, newspapers and magazines. One question that I find interesting that they all ask is, what sets me apart from other teachers, or why do I think I was chosen above others? Well, I have to say that even though I do so much and give so much to my students, these are hard questions to answer.
I do what I do everyday for the sake of the students I serve. Even though I put out a strong and confident persona, I think I'm just a good teacher that has a job addiction problem. I don't see myself as an extraordinary teacher but just as a dedicated one. I still am concerned about how others view me and if others think I'm good enough. But I guess this award is the proof I need now to truly accept that I am a pretty darn good teacher!
So the answer to this question and one that I share with current and future teachers is that teaching is not a 9-5 job. I strongly believe that in order for students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing to be successful academically, psychologically, and socially, I need to make a positive impact on them, on their families, and on other professionals they encounter. I need to set up experiences for them to interact with other Deaf peers and Deaf adults. I need to plan family outings to Deaf events so their parents can see the world their children can aspire to. I need to advocate for access for them. I need to educate others on how to work with them and communicate them.
Yes that is a lot of "I needs"; however it starts with me. I can do whatever is in my power to improve their lives (not just their learning) and hopefully others will look at what I have done and try it themselves.