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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Can You Hear Me Now?...

The lesson plan indicated..."If you wouldn't mind wearing the wireless microphone, just be sure to turn it off when answering the phone or when talking privately to students or visitors."

The lesson plan indicated it was to help "Jimmy" pay attention to do his work. Otherwise, he tends to be out of his seat wandering. I think the plan mentioned something about some kind of attention disorder that this device was supposed to help with.

This is not the first time I've encountered students with varying levels of hearing impairment. I wore a wireless microphone in a 1st grade class with a boy who had hearing aids in both ears. The only problem I had was remembering that I needed to switch it off when I wasn't addressing the class during the day. When that happened, he would raise his hand and "remind me" by pointing to his ear.

I didn't think much about the "if you wouldn't mind" phrasing about wearing a wireless mic in today's 3rd grade classroom until the class was settled and I started to introduce myself.

Suddenly, I'm hearing myself on the other side of the room next to the teacher's desk.

"What the..??"

I stopped talking when I almost heard myself say something I'd regret if I finished that thought REALLY out loud. It seems that THIS system, a "Phonak Dynamic Soundfield" is a loud speaker

Jimmy, sans any kind of ear aids, informs me that it helps him concentrate. His desk is right next to the five-foot tall pole speaker system.

With the system switched off, Jimmy can hear me just fine from where I'm standing in front of the class. The rest of the class must be used to this system as the regular teacher uses it daily. 

While it may help Jimmy to concentrate on his class work, it is very distracting to me as I hear myself inside my head vs. outside my head at the same time and slightly delayed.

So, we did without the hi-tech classroom boom box while redirecting Jimmy one-on-one as needed.

1 comment:

Mrs. Peabody's American Dream said...

I love following your blog... you are a natural born entertainer... and one of the reasons I wanted to become a substitute teacher. I finally got my 90 credits in... and now I find myself fighting for my rights to become a substitute teacher... and be heard! (I love the microphone post by the way...)

Please help me find the support I need from other substitute teachers by commenting on, and sharing my story.

LeFerna Walch