February tends to be associated with love and friendship, as Valentine’s Day is celebrated. However, there is so much more to celebrate and recognize during this month that shapes our students that we as professionals working this this area of education need to be aware of and make a conscious effort to represent in our schools.
Black Deaf History
For starters, the start of this month starts Black History Month. The following are some resources available out there, that can help incorporate Black Deaf History into lessons. The National Black Deaf Advocates website, http://www.nbda.org/content/blck-deaf-history-month and The Described and Captioned Media Program, http://www.dcmp.org/learn/366-black-deaf-culture-through-the-lens-of -history. This includes Black ASL (BASL), which Deaf African American individuals commonly use.
Last week, February 6th-10th was School Counselor Week. I want to thank those counselors in our RDSPD settings as well as those that work with students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH) both in and out of our educational setting. These professionals not only need to deal with typical issues that students may deal with on day-to-day bases, but they also implement Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons. Additionally, they also need to understand and know how to respond to the unique needs of DHH students. The Statewide Outreach Center (SOC) has resources for not only counselors but for all individuals who work with this population to participate in trainings. For more information visit www.texasdeafed.org/mentalhealth.
Acknowledging and understanding not only individual differences among the students, but also the differences that exist within the Deaf Culture, is a way to show love to our students.
Speaking of love, do not forget to show love to yourselves and take some “me” time with some meditation, spa day, or simply doing nothing. We cannot be there for others if we are not there for ourselves first.