Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What Do I Do All Day?

I have at least three hats that I wear here: the pastor of our Deaf Church, Sulmi's mother, and Morine's teacher.

I wish I was running from 5;00-6:00 AM but I can't seem to get up.  (Someone can pray about that for me :-). By 6:00 I'm in the shower.  Sulmi is up and ironing her uniform then a shower and we eat breakfast. Sulmi leaves at the house at 7:15 on a bike for a little over a mile ride to school.  I do devotions until about 8:00 when I leave for school in the van.

My classroom is in the library,  It's great to be in the library.  It's airy and clean.  I like being surrounded by books.  Because I am in the library I open it about 8:05 and let the children come in to browse.  This year we are not loaning out books yet.  We lost about 200 books last year that were borrowed and never returned so we have to develop a policy that's stricter than "You can't borrow any more books until you bring back the last one" because that basically lets about 200 books disappear. I love having the socialization with the students first thing in the morning.  It means lots of hugs and smiles and I can take an interest in them and show them they are important.  Some drop in just to chat.  It's a good part of the day.

At 8:30 the bell rings and I teach Morine Ayuso until 11:30.  She is a deaf 7 year old.  Last year she was in the class where Chelsea interpreted. Unfortunately she failed.  Her sister is in the same class and passed. Ouch!  That is a difficult situation.  I asked Mrs. Briceno, our principal, if I could teach Morine 1:1 and try to bring her up to the level of the other children who were promoted.  Also I want to teach her to read the deaf way through sight words and repetition vs. a phonetic approach. So Morine and I spend the morning reading High Frequency word books and practicing spelling, writing stories with the words she knows, learning to add, subtract and tell time (and other basic first -second grade math skills), and I read/sign lots of books to her, trying to increase her signed vocabulary.  She likes to take the books home and retell them (explaining the story but not reading the words) to her family.  By doing that her parents and her grandma and aunt also learn the ASL vocabulary that Morine is learning.  She also takes the High Frequency word books home and practices the words she is learning to read.  She's doing fabulously and it's so crucially helpful that her family is practicing ASL with her. 

In the afternoons Morine goes to the mainstream Infant 2 (Second grade) class with her sister.  There she learns PE, social studies and science.  She doesn't have an interpreter.  It would be nice to have one, but we don't have one.  So she tries to learn what the other children are learning and the teacher tries to explain and include her with visuals.  I will be giving Morine her Social Studies and Science tests so I will see what she needs to learn and try to fit that into our morning as needed.

My afternoons are free until 3:15 when Sulmi comes home from school.  I do lots of different things with the afternoon...catch up on paperwork, go food shopping, help someone from church.  Yesterday I helped Veronica work on her application for Belizean nationality and took her to the Social Security office to learn what she needs to do to get a Belizean social security card since she is a Guatemalan national but married to a Belizean (Mario).  I also do various tasks in order to satisfy what is needed to adopt Sulmi.  I think we are on the homestretch.  All of the court papers have been signed.  Now I am praying the court accepts our request. Thursday afternoons I spend preparing for Friday evening Bible study.

When Sulmi gets home from school we chat a bit and then start on her homework.  She continues working while I cook dinner.  Some nights she is done before dinner and some nights we work until 9 PM.  Why am I helping her with her homework?  Sometimes she did not understand the explanation in class.   Sometimes it's just nice for her to have the support.  Most of the time, reading the text book is very, very hard.  So I try to provide the vocabulary that she does not understand and then re-explain it in ASL until I see the lights in her eyes showing understanding.

In the evening we usually relax with TV or facebook or a book....sometimes doing our own thing.

We both are in bed by 9:00 and sometimes earlier to read and unwind.

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