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   Hear Me Out Blog   

Wear the Transmitter… PLEASE

Last
week, I walked in to see my third grader. He was lined up with his classmates,
heading to the classroom next door for math. He smiled wide when he saw me,
made eye contact with his teacher, then came over, ready to work with me.

“Go get your transmitter,” I reminded him.

He looked at me, paused, looked down and shuffled his feet. “Well…”  

Overhearing, his teacher looked around and grabbed it off a
nearby table, handing it to me. The battery was dead. I then noticed my student
wasn’t wearing his receivers. I asked him where they were. “I don’t know,” He whispered. “Yes you do! It’s where
we always keep them,” his teacher interjected. His eyes searched the room as
the teacher walked over to an area of the counter top, shuffled though papers
and found the container. Clearly, they hadn’t been used in awhile.

           We’ve all had experiences with
students refusing to use their amplification, but it’s much more frustrating
when the adults neglect to use it. So what’s a TOD to do? Here’s my plan…

           Reinforce
and Remind

While I want to be annoyed with this teacher, I also
recognize that if she does not see the importance of my student’s hearing
technology, maybe I haven’t done my job. In a conversation after my session
with my student, I reminded his teacher of the importance of using his HAT
system consistently. I also reminded the teacher  of the hearing loss simulation I had played
during my in-service and despite the fact that this student’s speech is strong,
and he is able to carry on a casual conversation, it is much more challenging
when he is required to listen to (and absorb!) new information in a classroom
setting. I insisted that we set up a designated charging station right then
(while the room was empty) so that both the teacher and my student would know
where the equipment was being stored.

           Get
Organized

This week, I plan to spend more time in the classroom helping
everyone feel comfortable using the equipment. I also plan to have my student
create a morning checklist which I will laminate and he can check with a dry
erase marker each morning after doing his set-up. The troubleshooting guides
and listening checklist forms that I made are there, but my student may take
more ownership if he creates the materials. He and I will talk about friendly
ways to remind the teacher to wear the transmitter.

           Enlist
Help

And going forward, if all else fails, I plan to enlist the
support of the school nurse or SLP, both of whom I have good relationships with
from past years in this school. They are in the building all day whereas I am
in and out. One of them may be able to check in each morning to help my student
get set up. Perhaps this teacher feels overwhelmed, and what I see as a two-minute
morning job may seem like much more to her.

           

In the end, it’s really about my student and his access. How
do you work with teachers who are reluctant to use the HAT system? Let’s share
tips!

Hear Me Out

The Hear Me Out blog provides unique resources for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. It's a forum for itinerant teachers of the deaf to share their experiences as they grow as professionals! It is produced by Clarke's Mainstream Services team as part of our mission to support children with hearing loss and the professionals who serve them.

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About the Hear Me Out Blog

Itinerant teachers of the deaf (TOD) provide direct services to children with hearing loss in mainstream schools, consultation to their teachers, and professional development to school staff. Itinerant TODs travel to a child’s neighborhood school to provide one-on-one educational support, foster listening and spoken language development, and help children build social and self-advocacy skills. They also act as a liaison between the family and their mainstream school. Hear Me Out provides a unique forum for these special teachers to share their experiences as they grow as professionals.

Hear Me Out is produced by Mainstream Services at Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech as part of our mission to support children with hearing loss and the professionals who serve them.

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Hear Me Out Blog

About the Author

Heather Stinson (CAGS, MED, S/LP-A) received her master’s degree in Education of the Deaf from Smith College in 2006 and a graduate certificate in Children, Families, and Schools (with a concentration in research methodology) from the University of Massachusetts in 2012. In addition to her many years of experience working with children with hearing loss who communicate using listening and spoken language, Heather has also worked as a preschool classroom teacher.

Heather has presented both locally and nationally on issues related to mainstreaming students with hearing loss and is a contributing author to Odyssey magazine. Heather currently works as an itinerant teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing at Clarke Mainstream Services, a program of Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech.

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