Saturday, October 29, 2005

Can't get away from Special Ed. :-)

At my school there are a couple special ed. kids that I have been hanging out with since I came last year. As a teacher youre not supposed to have a favorite student, just like parents arent supposed to have a favorite child. But just as I am my parents favorite daughter, of course I also have favorite students. My favorite special ed. kid is Nao. Hes 13 and doesnt talk. Communicating with him is always very interesting. When I first got here he wouldnt answer any of my questions, so I was a little discouraged, but as he has gotten to know me better, he usually responds to my questions. Of course they can only really be yes or no questions, so I have to do a lot of guessing until he finally nods his head yes or no. When he tilts his head sideways, it means that theres no clear yes or no answer. Anyway, recently I decided to try a little English practice with him. So I made up cute little yes and no cards for him to point to. Then I started asking him simple questions like Are you Nao? But he didnt want to pint to the cards. Im sure he understood the question, but I said it in Japanese too just in case. Then I took his hand and put it on the yes card. Then I asked him again, but he still wouldnt answer. I asked him if he was embarrassed, if he didnt want to do it, but he didnt respond, so I decided to give up for the day. I was a little disappointed. I thought that with no one else in the room he would be more willing to open up to me and stuff. I think I even cried a little. The other day, tho, I decided to try it again with a different attitude. I went with the confidence that he could do it and would do it, instead of not really believing that he would. First I showed him some picture cards and said them in English. Then I told him to mouth the words back to me, which he kinda did. Then I put the cards on his desk and told him to point to the word I said. I started with one he knew for sure. Of course he would not point to it. I kept saying the word, I moved his hand to the card, and kept saying the word. Finally I said Nao, I have plenty of time to wait. My next 2 periods are free (which was true), so I can wait, no problem! So I kept saying the same word, over and over. Finally he got tired of me or something because he pointed to the word!! I was so happy that tears came to my eyes! But I kept saying different words. He pointed to the right words. That was a great feeling! I went on to ask more yes or no questions, which he also answered! The next day I was in the special ed room too and the teacher and another student were there and the teacher out of nowhere asked how to say mouse in English. The other student know, but I was like, Nao knows because we just went over mouse yesterday. And I looked over and he was mouthing mouse with his lips! Im so proud of him!! Usually we just play games like ping pong and badminton, which is really fun because then I get to see him laugh and sometimes he even makes little noises, like when I accidentally hit the birdie into his chest really fast or something. But I wanted to try to help him get interested in English too. I hope that Ill be able to hear him talk by the time I leave!! In either English OR Japanese.


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