Why I Learned Sign Language Interpreter Essay

Why I Learned Sign Language Interpreter Essay

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I came from an English speaking home but learned sign language around the age of three. My cousin was born deaf so my entire family learned sign language to some degree to be able to communicate with him. My mother graduated from high school and my father did not finish school. My parents were always employed full-time. Doing well in school was always expected in my family but going to college was not an expectation. I knew I had to work but I never thought about having a career. I always did well in school and learning seemed to come easily. I went to school in Yakima, Washington from kindergarten through 2nd grade, then moved to Toppenish, Washington where I graduate from.
Becoming a teacher was not something I had dreamt about doing, it just happened. Almost 20 years ago, my job was being moved out of state and I needed to find a new one. I heard about Wapato School District looking for a sign language interpreter. After inquiring more about the position, I found it was for an elementary student. I figured I could do that, I have known sign language all my life, so I applied for the job. I did not know that would change my life. Honestly, I should have never been hired as an interpreter. I knew sign language but knowing a language and interpreting a language is not the same thing. However, I fell in love with the job and the students. I took classes to become a better interpreter. I wanted to learn all I could and do all I could to help my students succeed.
Then, a few years later one student I had interpreter for started to lose his vision. The district had a teacher for the visually impaired come in a few times a year, but the people working with him were not getting enough guidance for him to be truly successful at school....


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...g new things fun, even when students might think the subject is boring or they will never use it, it can still be interesting. One way to accomplish that is making it relevant. If a student does not see the need or know how it will benefit them, then why learn it? As a teacher, that is our job to make learning meaningful.
Lastly, excellence in teaching is having high expectation for all students. Every student regardless of their abilities or disabilities can succeed. Can every student succeed to the same level or be at grade level? No, but they all can make progress. A student might be learning to put his coat on independently, being able to identify his name, or learning to brush his teeth. That is their current level and we strive to make progress. I believe a good teacher realizes students with disabilities are just as important general education students.


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