Friday, January 20, 2012

Teaching Makes Me Smile

This is a picture of me teaching Glenford.  He is 4 years old and deaf.  He has a wonderful mother who continues to teach him during the rest of the day and rest of the week when I am not in his home. (He also has a terrific father who loves him and aunts and brothers and sisters and cousins who are quick to give him a hug.)  Glenford likes to tease and laugh.  He loves "hiding-can you find it?" games.  Glenford started out in the preschool at St Peters but he could not follow the directions and was destructive, throwing things, breaking things and laughing about it.  It was also hard for him to sit for the circle time like the other children.  After giving it a try for about a month we decided that maybe I should teach him in his home and help him to learn the skills that are needed to be able to function in a classroom.  We got him a table and some toys to help him learn to sit down to do an activity and to put it away when he is done with it. He still has destructive tendencies... and is easily distracted, scratching an "owie" or his head, or his leg or looking outside when we try to get his attention. But, he is showing improvement in signing words in imitation. Sometimes he shows he understands the sign when I sign a word like I am signing "One" in the photo.  Then he finds the picture that I sign.  He is just beginning to show this kind of "receptive" language. He also has a few signs he can make without a prompt (bird, fish, "gimme").

The steps and progress are slow, much slower than I expected from this very alert child. Yet, I think once we get him to focus on the teaching activity instead of a multitude of distractions (both real and made up), he will begin to learn more quickly.  Please pray for him and his whole family.
Just a note about God's hand on this family.  One day in December I went to the house and saw the father was there. He was laid off from his job a few weeks before Christmas. Money was already tight and this meant the family was really stuck...with no food for several days. Literally, their cupboards were bare. The father had tried to find a job looking at the usual places but every place was full.  The next week when I went to the house to teach Glenford, the father was there again and this time he was reading a Bible.  I asked him what he was reading and he said he was looking for a verse to help him.  I had just read Psalm 37 in my devotion and told him to look it up:
Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.  (Psalm 37:5)
We prayed briefly and he left while I taught Glenford with the mother.
The next time I returned, he said that when he went out, he walked the street to find a road crew.  When he happened on one, he asked if he could work with them.  The foreman said, "Yes." and from that moment on he had a job.  He has even been moved from "temporary" to "permanent"... which means he can keep his job even after the pre-election road clearing blitz.  Praise God for his compassion, mercy and love on all of his children.


  1. There's a lesson here about distractions. I'm thinking that God has a plan for us and we often take a long time to get to God's planned destination because of all the distractions.
    Keep up the great posting