Tips for Successful Inclusion:
A General Educator & Teacher of the Deaf
Team Up to Share Their Advice
(from a presentation at the Colorado Deaf Symposium, November 1999 by Ruth Mathers, MA, Certified Teacher of the Deaf, and Ellen Cahill, MA, Master Teacher/General Education, in Denver Public Schools)
Here Are the Absolute Necessities:
1. Two teachers (a regular educator and a deaf educator), who can work together with respect and friendship.
2. Both teachers have a track record of successful learning in their classrooms.
3. A year-long plan that enables pre-planning and preparation.
4. Parent cooperation and involvement in homework.
5. Students who like to play and learn with others.
Suggestions for the Classroom Environment:
1. Students are given clear expectations of behavior with consistent reinforcements.
2. Teachers model friendly cooperation and problem solving.
3. Time is given to address social interactions--affective education.
4. Students' desks are arranged to focus on key visuals--teacher, overheads, charts and projector.
5. Teacher of the Deaf has equal authority and is integral in the cooperative group activities.
6. Sound field system and/or FM system available and in working order at all times for students using amplification.
Qualities of a General Education Teacher:
1. Willingness to adapt teaching, use gestures and modify; comfortable with collaboration and open to suggestions.
2. Has a good grasp of curriculum... can prioritize, distill, and analyze material for relevance.
3. Uses consistent procedures--well crafted daily plans, good signals, a prepared anticipatory set that is visual and focused.
4. Prepares rubrics in which skills are demonstrated in ways that adapt to child's expressive abilities.
Qualities of the Teacher of the Deaf:
1. Consults with general ed teacher regarding necessary modifications, language, worksheets, evaluations, etc...
2. Provides support for accessing information via sign or oral interpreting and/or classroom captioning during instruction.
3. Pre-teaches and re-teaches when challenging new material is presented.
4. Facilitates interactions between hearing and deaf/hard of hearing students when needed.
5. Assists regular classroom teacher with preparing materials, grading papers, and other necessary classroom preparations.