bragging about my school again :)

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Aliceacc, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm in a large Catholic school that's devoted to the idea of 3 college prep tracks. ALL our kids go on to college, but our lowest level kids have traditionally gone on to the colleges, both community and 4 year, that were easier to get in to.

    Well, that's slowly changing, and our lower level kids are applying to the more competitive schools. As a result, we've had to rethink something.

    Those same kids haven't been offered a foreign language-- instead they've always doubled up on both math and English. But so many schools want kids to have a foreign language.

    So our lowest level kids are going to start learning ASL as Seniors (or is it Juniors? I'm not sure since we just heard about this.)

    The administration wanted a language where the kids could gain some sort of fluency in a relatively short period of time-- and 2 years of French or Spanish simply won't do it. But apparently ASL has fewer issues with tenses and irregular verbs, so it's a bit more do-able in a short period of time.

    I know nothing about the details, but thought it was a great approach to take. The kids will be taking care of that college entry requirement, and learning something that may help someone someday, open some doors for themselves or someone else, or open them up to a new career possibility.
     
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  3. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    Fabulous idea, Alice! I wish our school could offer ASL!
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Fabulous!
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    That's really interesting. I wasn't aware that ASL would qualify for the foreign language requirement. I'm going to pass that info on to some of my students who have gone on and would like to go to college some day.
     
  6. KinderMissN

    KinderMissN Companion

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    I took 4 years of spanish, and still couldn't get a hang of all the tenses. There are 14, if I remember correctly. What a terrific opportunity for your students, I wish I could have taken ASL instead of Spanish.
     
  7. bros

    bros Phenom

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    ASL is realllly good for people with expressive language problems, apparently ASL bypasses that stuff in the brain or something
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    The battle over whether ASL is really a language was hard-fought in the 1960s and early 1970s, but it was pretty well settled by themid-'80s, when a number of reputable universities began accepting work in ASL for their foreign-language requirements.
     
  9. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    What a breath of fresh air to learn.

    I'm doing my part with the Whole Brain Teaching which uses a lot of sign language. I guess I should use it more responsibly now because we make up a lot of things as we go.
     
  10. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    What a positive change for your students! I wish them luck.

    I just have to say this though--i went to college with many students who took ASL as the "easy A" class. They soon learned-not as easy as they had imagined. I have been an interpreter for 9 years, and a student of ASL for half my 30 years, and still struggle with fluency of the language.
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    :)
     
  12. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    All 3 of my kids took ASL as their foreign language and really enjoyed it. I know at least one of them took at least 3 semesters and wants to continue and get a certificate. He is going into law enforcement and hopes to use it there. I think because my kids learn by moving and doing it was a great fit for them. I tried and got frustrated. I should try again.
     
  13. Carmen13

    Carmen13 Groupie

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    What a great idea!
    Two years ago I had an ear-impaired student in one of my classes, so I took a workshop on Portuguese Sign Language. I loved learning PSL, and was so happy that it the little I learned had such a positive impact in my relationship with this student.
     
  14. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    :thumb:
     
  15. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    awesome approach. I'd heard that ASL was the fourth most widely-"spoken" language in the US. And apparently in some circles hearing parents use it with young infants because the kids can express themselves earlier.
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oh, I don't think they're looking for the easy solution. I think the administration wants to give them a foreign lanaguage where they can learn enough in a year or two to make it worth the effort. That way, they're still doubling up on math and English as underclassmen. I know they won't be fluent, but they'll at least know enough that it won't feel like wasted time.

    The dean today said that both deans will, of course, take the class as well. That way, if they're cursed out in sign language, they'll realize it.
     
  17. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I happen to know a few curse signs, if you want ahead of the game Alice! ;)
     
  18. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I wouldn't be surprised if it was the subject of a faculty meeting at some point down the road.
     
  19. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Btw, just curious...does your school have any deaf students and interpreters? Who will teach the class?

    I taught some for credit classes through the comm college. Very fun! Not that I'm looking to move to NY, just curious!
     
  20. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Oh, and something else-kids in my school picked up on how to cheat using sign verrry quickly. They still do, and our deaf student graduated 3 years ago.
     
  21. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    That's great Alice!
     
  22. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nope. We don't service any special ed students.

    As to who will teach it, I asked that today. I was told that "we have some leads, but it hasn't been decided yet."
     
  23. bros

    bros Phenom

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    My cousin was taught ASL from an early age, along with English and Spanish.
     
  24. NJArt

    NJArt Comrade

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    I wanted to take ASL as my lang. in college and they wouldn't let me... it was only for special ed or something. booooo. Great that your school is going to offer it.
     
  25. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Alice- be proud to be in a school that values the progress of the kids and not just numbers and $$$. Hopefully they put that some value on the faculty and staff. I'm fortunate to be in a district that values and respects teachers as PROFESSIONAL EDUCATORS. I wish the same for all of you.
     
  26. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oh, they do, absolutely. Take a look at some of the other times I've bragged about them.

    I wish I could accurately show how incredibly kind they were to me last year. Not just the standard "You can leave early for radiation" kind of stuff you might expect from any employer. But trying to do all they could for me-- the times I cried in the office of the Principal or the AP and they did all they could to make me comfortable, all the times they asked if there was anything they could do, the knowledge that it really was no big deal if I left early or called in when we had yet another crisis at home.

    I really hit the gold mine in 1987 when I chose to leave a job I loved and apply to my current school.
     
  27. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Here's the thing, Alice= they value professional educators, they give you freedom and flexibility (with the understanding that there is responsibility that comes along with that) and they respect you and make the EFFORT to keep you because you are VALUABLE...there are teachers out there who want the freedom without the responsibility... and there are schools who don't value the wealth among them....EEK...
    You rock, Alice...I wish I was in your math class in HS (I was a girl with math anxiety until I TAUGHT math and now I LOVE it...).
     
  28. Rebecca1122

    Rebecca1122 Comrade

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    My university still doesn't accept ASL as foreign language credit :mad:
    My professor said it is a big political thing, I'm not really sure. I took two semesters of ASL to complete the foreign language requirement for the Honors program at that university, which does accept ASL to meet their own foreign language requirement. I loved it and wish I had room in my schedule to take more! That is awesome that your students will have the chance to learn in high school Alice!
     
  29. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    How lucky for your students!! I wish I could take those classes, I have wanted to become fluent in sign for years now but never found a great place to learn. I hope it works out well for them, and maybe you can make friends with the new teacher and learn some on the side!
     
  30. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Newest development-- the new teacher will be starting Tuesday. He's been deaf since birth, so we received a small note saying we should speak normally, as he's adept at lip reading.

    My normal rate of speech is FAST, even for a New Yorker, so I'm guessing I should slow it down to something approaching normal.
     
  31. Maxadoodle

    Maxadoodle Comrade

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    My kids' high school offers Spanish, French, German, Chinese and Latin. I don't think they every offered ASL. What a great idea! My kids struggled with junior high French and Spanish, so they took Latin for 4 years. I bet they would have loved ASL.
     
  32. Anne wmcosuvamu

    Anne wmcosuvamu Companion

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    A girl I ride with just graduated college (in May) with an ASL major and has had potential employers knocking down her door. She worked as a freelance translator from her parents' house for a while, then just decided to move to DC and work for an employer there.

    If she can get a job in these markets, when other new college grads are desperate and begging for work, I'd say you may be setting some of your students down the path to a fulfilling career. :D Just the exposure to ASL opens this career up as a potential. I know I had no idea one could major in ASL at university until I was almost done with my college career. :blush:
     
  33. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    That's great! Of course, I'm still hung up on the fact that all of your students attend college and that you have no special education students. That's almost impossible for me to comprehend. Well, again, I think it's a wonderful opportunity for those students. I would have taken the class had it been available in high school in a minute!
     
  34. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Ask him if your normal way of speaking is too fast for him.
     
  35. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I will, though my mom has been on my case for 5 decades to slow down, so I'm guessing that I'm too fast for most people. :)
     

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