The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Can’t Hear, Still Have to Teach

Most of my students are aware of the fact that I am blind in my left eye and pretty darn close to being deaf in my left ear. They usually come to terms with this without any problem. Today had an added challenge, though: I came down with a slight cold last week, so my voice is still scratchy. Then two days ago I woke up with fluid in my right ear, so I can’t hear very much out of that ear, either. So I had a weak voice and very, very, very limited hearing.

But school is back in session and I wasn’t about to let a minor detail like not being able to hear my usually soft-spoken students be a deterrent! I knew I’d have to ask them to speak louder than necessary or, if doing so would be a disruption, to just write down what they wanted to tell me.

The morning seemed to start off all right, until I mentioned this problem to a coworker and she said, “Oh! So that’s why you didn’t say anything when I said hello to you this morning!”

Things went better in the classroom, though. My students came in and got to work on their journal topic for the morning as I took care of attendance and the lunch count. Then we came to the carpet for our morning meeting and I told them about my hearing problem. They were all fairly accommodating! I always walk around the room when teaching and try to move closer to students who are answering questions anyway, so I didn’t have to ask them to repeat comments too often. There was only one time that I needed to ask a student to write down a question for me.

So even though I couldn’t hear very well today, I still had to teach and we made it through the day without any problems! After a two-week winter break with two extra days because of the severe cold weather, we jumped right back into the swing of things today! I am hoping that my hearing will come back soon, but I am glad to know that my students will be willing to help me out if it doesn’t!


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