The independent learning project I chose to do for this semester is sign language. As an elementary education major I thought that this would be a great choice. Whether it be a student of mine or a visitor, there may come a time when I have a child in my classroom who is deaf or hard of hearing, so I should be prepared for this. If there comes a time when I have a student in my class who uses sign language as his or her primary source of communication, I could teach my students some basic communication skills for this language, and this would mostly likely be just the alphabet. However, this would mean that I would have to be educated on the language as well. For those of you who do not know what sign language is, it is the use of hand gestures to communicate with those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
I had taken a sign language class for two years while in middle school, so I know some of the basic gestures, such as the alphabet. I feel as if it is a necessity to have this in my arsenal as a teacher because, like I said before, I may have to use it to communicate with a student in my class, so I must be prepared. Below is a picture of the sign language alphabet as well as the numbers one through nine, which is what I would teach to my students if I needed to.
This image can be found at http://www.lifeprint.com/asl101/fingerspelling/images/abc1280x960.png
I have found videos on the internet that can help me with my learning process throughout this semester. I am very excited to begin learning this because it can be useful in so many ways. My experience with this language excites me as well and it will definitely make this learning process easier. I have a foundation to begin with and will not need to start from scratch.
If any of you, my readers, are getting into the field of education I would highly encourage and recommend you to learn basic sign language. It can be a useful tool for you and your students. If sign language does not amuse you, there are also many other tools that you can learn to include into your arsenal as an educator. Being a teacher is not a job that should be taken lightly and accommodating to all of your students’ needs should be first and foremost.