From part of the email I received from the teacher for this 5th grade class last week:
“…I am planning to head in early to work tomorrow morning for lesson plans for you. I just wanted to give you a little back ground of some of my kids…
…J has hearing aids but does not like to discuss it in front of the class. I normally wear an ear piece/mic that feeds into her hearing aid, however having strep throat I am not going to have you wear it. She is really good at reading lips. Her hearing loss is mild but do not get mad at her if you think she is not listening. When talking to her, just make sure you have eye contact and you’re not talking to her back.”
When I came in the next morning, I saw the ear piece/mic on the desk. It was a single over the ear, flesh colored, straw mic that you sometimes see worn by actors and singers in stage performances. Connected to a separate, small battery control pack it didn’t look like much. But, what a fantastic use in the classroom for a kid with hearing problems!
I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t get a chance to use it but not disappointed enough to risk getting strep throat. J did just fine in class. I did have to remind myself, at times, to look in her direction when giving instruction and reading. It was the other times that “being wired for sound” might have been a distinct disadvantage.
Just how sensitive is that mic? What is its range? You have to be extra careful in what you say when you think no one can hear you.
I asked a few questions about the sensitivity and range of the technology at lunch in the teachers lounge. One of the aides told me that the teacher was in the classroom during recess one day and was wondering much the same thing. She saw J leaning against a tree on the lawn.
Through a closed classroom door and in a calm voice she said: “J, can you hear me?” and watched as J turned around and waved at her from about 100ft away.
So…when Robert emptied the contents of another kids desk on the floor when I was in the classroom, did I use an inaudible expletive before I unloaded on him or did I just think it? Would I have forgotten to take the mic off before going to the teachers lounge for lunch or used the bathroom?
All good things to think about the next time I’m in this classroom and wired for sound…