Saturday, August 27, 2011

Summer Shifts to School (Life)

It has been some weeks since I have been able to blog and I do find myself missing it and missing the read. . . 

These weeks have caught me off guard, trying to get back into the swing of my full-time job with my part-time job.  Whew!  As I try to make my life balance out again, I found another quote that brings a little clarity.
There are obviously two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live.   ~James T. Adams
My thoughts; one should teach us the learning process and the other how not to forget to live fully.   Along with the balancing act, I am reminded along the way that life goes on and we need to enjoy both the learning process and the process of life. 
My students remind me of two items.  1) Summer is a time of fun and we have 'some catch-up' with listening and language.  2) We will get it done.  On the flip side, my family reminds me of two more items.  1) How not to forget to live.  2) How not to forget to listen (to language).

Pragmatics is the social communication of language.  Children whose hearing is intact get the pragmatics of language with every interaction they have from the time of birth.  Children whose hearing has been compromised from birth or seeking habilitation for a hearing impairment are taught pragmatics.   This is an area I work very heavily with parents and students.  It is an important aspect we can't forget during summer months and I can't forget during family time.
Interaction between two individuals is full of language - give and take, lean in and lean out, push and pull, listening and talking, talking and listening.  The easy way out when our life is busy - is give and take or push and pull.  Is there any listening or talking involved?  Think about it.  Listening and talking takes time.  We have to observe a situation, wait for our communication partner and really listen to the language.  Children in the summer - push and pull because they want what they want and they want fun now!  Adults push and pull because life goes on and they are busy and they want their children to have fun now!  We don't always remember to expect language in return. In comes school and I want listening and language that was intact before school let out for the summer.  That does not always happen.

Yet my family does find the way to tell me, school is education and when you are home, family is life. It is the combination of the two that makes life full of living.  Always trying to remember the listening and the language play a part, and always trying to remind my parents to incorporate while I try to remember to love both parts equally.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

School Time for Me and Everyone Else

I have so many new things awaiting me this year.  Now I know what my students feel like when they begin a new year with new teachers and the possibility of making new friends.  The program I work with is now on a new campus with new teachers and I, am not only on this campus with new teachers, but have a whole new staff to work within my program.  I wonder if I am asking the same questions as the children.  Will they like me?  Will they work with me?  Will they listen to me?  Will I hear what they say?  Remember, I work with children with a hearing impairment and as they become aware that they are a little different - these questions are very real for them as they are for other children, but magnified because of what they feel is different.  And then I think of their parents - What questions do they have going through their mind?  Will they make friends?  Will they have a good day?  Will they be able to listen and hear the teacher?  Will my child know what is going on around them?  Sound familiar?

I guess it does all feel the same in different ways.  I have to remember when I counsel my parents I tell them their children are waiting to come alive with communication.  We just have to give them the tools to make it happen.  Listening comes first, localizing that sound and finding it.  (Listening to others comes first, localizing the people that want to learn with me and making friends)  Then we move into modeling the sounds and language for them, and the child quickly takes the cue to copy those sounds and words.  (We show the friends are new program, or we show people we can listen and model what they want from us.)  Then we move to turn-taking and sharing of information. (You've seen me write about this before - it never changes with the situation - new school, new program, new friends that share information and ideas and fun.)  What is the difference with how I feel and how parents feel and then how the children feel?  Sometimes I feel the world is cold. . . my parents sometimes feel the world is cold. . . children feel the world is cold and we teach them to make it their business to build fires - taken from Horace Troubel

I do hope everyone has a great beginning of another school year!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Another Day. . . . another ????

Okay, you fill in the blank - so much has happened since my last blog and in two short weeks I will be returning to school/work along with some family members and all the other people that love working with children as much as I do.  It is just getting ready for it that I dread and then thinking about all the side notes of teaching and therapy that boggle my mind!  Can anyone say paperwork!!!

Anyway,  these past few days have opened my eyes to changes again and the feeling of being lost in everything that comes about. . . but then that feeling of change is also always followed by the fact that G-d commands those changes and it is not my path to follow but His - there is a reason for what is about to come.  For me, that is a calming effect and I focus on not panicking.  From what I see, I am not the only one with changes coming their way.  My husband has begun a new path in his job, he is very excited.  My son has challenges everyday, for life in general; he's young and life for him brings ups and downs.  But I got to spend a glorious weekend with him and we challenged the thought of all those roller coaster rides.  I have family coming home and I have family celebrating, and my friends are all making some kind of change - job or family.  What a summer!!

What does any of this have to do with Another day?  Well - to me - it has to do with learning and with what you make of another day.   Samuel Johnson said;
The chief art of learning is to attempt but little at a time.  The widest excursions of the mind are by short flights frequently repeated, the most lofty fabrics of sciences are formed by the continued accumulation of single propositions.
. . . which to me has a couple of meanings.  Our lives are so busy that we don't realize the constant change, and when we do - it sometimes takes our breath away that time passes us by.  Not really, those changes are the short flights frequently repeated and G-d must have a plan for me learning it.  The other meaning I try to explain to my clients and parents as much as possible, it makes so much sense when we realize it is a part of our lives.
As our children try to overcome whatever obstacle that has 'stalled' their learning - practice, practice, practice - and then practice some more!  If that part of the brain didn't grow, or got the wrong signals, let's make a new path of learning by showing our children over and over again, in sooo many different ways, the new information they need.
For me, children's paths are also governed by G-d and as parents and teachers/therapists, we can help correct an obstacle they need to overcome for their path.  Perhaps you were meant to make the 'flights repeated' so they may make the 'continued accumulation' into a single 'Aha!' moment.
Isn't that what it is all about. . . another day and another ????