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My Experience with a Deaf Child in a Physical Education Class

When I was younger, I used to help instruct students for fitness, specifically, at a Tae Kwon Do Studio. I was only a teenager myself, so I was put in charge of classes made up of younger students.

It was harder for me to teach adults, since it was tough for me as a teenager to hold their respect. The kids were much better.

My favorite experience as an assistant instructor involved a Deaf student. He joined the class hesitantly, picking up that his parents weren’t sure if he would be able to participate successfully.

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To his credit, the main instructor was not hesitant but welcomed the boy as he would any other new student.

Of course the Deaf student struggled to understand and follow verbal instructions, but he was quick to pick up and follow what the other students were doing.

history of deaf education timelineHis deafness obviously didn’t affect his physical strength, stamina, or dexterity. He was able to perform the physical aspects of the class as well as any other student.

Participating in the class definitely seemed to increase his self-confidence. When he first joined, he rarely spoke out loud to the instructor or the other students.

After a few months, though, he was much more comfortable trying to communicate with us.

The breakthrough happened at school, however. He came to class one evening bursting with excitement. Earlier in the week, he had given an oral report to his history class.

He had done so well that he was selected to be among a group of students asked to give their reports again, this time in front of the entire school body and a selection of visiting VIPs.

This was already exciting for a boy who, not that long ago, hardly spoke out loud at all. But the real reason for his excitement was even bigger.

He had won an award that day for the quality of his presentation in front of the school. That day in class, he talked until I actually had to ask him to stop and pay attention to the instructor!

I couldn’t help but feel proud of my part in changing this boy’s life. He was like a completely different, happier, boy, than the one I had first met.

Deaf students can participate in physical education experiences like any other child. The self-esteem benefits alone are incredible, as the Deaf child sees that they are capable, just like any other child. Need a jym pre workout supplement?

Teaching Fitness to Hearing-Impaired Students: 7 Effective Strategies for Physical Education Instructors

Handling a Physical Education class of deaf students poses a unique set of challenges for a teacher. It is very crucial to consider the special needs of these children to help them learn fitness despite their hearing loss or impairment.

The key to effective Physical Education instruction to students with special needs is good communication. Here are some strategies to use for new instructors who will teach fitness to deaf students.

1. Learn basic sign language

You cannot teach hearing-impaired students without developing your sign language skills first because this is the only way to give direct commands in your classes.

Consider the fact that there are students who can lip read, and some communicate through American Sign Language or Makaton Sign Language. There are even students who use both lip reading and sign language to communicate with their classmates and teachers.

2. Be prepared to perform different communication levels

Not all students are fully hearing-impaired and in one class, you will meet students with a variety of hearing loss levels and preferences when it comes to communication methods.

Expect different hearing levels in your Physical Education classes. Some students cannot functionally hear, while others can partially hear with the help of hearing aids.

3. Make the class work together as a group

Effective Strategies for Physical Education Make things a lot easier and less of an inconvenience to you by taking advantage of the fact that your students might have been trained to meet their communication needs on their own by being observant in class and following the actions of their classmates.

So for your teaching approach, demonstrate to them what they are supposed to do and then motivate them to work as a group. This will help them make sense of what is going on at the moment.

4. Establish predictability in class through routines

Get your class into a routine that makes it easy for everyone to act right when you do games, warm-ups, and cool-down exercises. Make sure that when you are going to make changes in the routine, you inform your class beforehand.

5. Use a stop-and-look strategy

This teaching method works well when holding your Physical Education class outdoors. The stop-and-look strategy works on the basis of a visual signal in combination with auditory signals. When you provide a signal, such as a wave of a flag or hand, students are expected to stop and look.

6. Create an emergency signal for safety

It is ideal to devise an emergency signal in your first day of class so that your students know that they should go to a safe place should an emergency happen, such as an earthquake, heavy downpours, or a major injury.

7. Always face your students

When you turn your back while talking with your class, it is like you are disrupting your communication lines with them. Of course, how can your students read your lips when they cannot see your face? So always face your class when you are talking to avoid losing your communication with them.