Monday, June 9, 2008

Incidental Teaching

One of the best things about my job is the opportunity to build learning into every moment. For example during community based instruction (CBI) we were at WalMart and one of my Down Syndrome/Hearing Impaired students became excited about noticing the hearing aid batteries in the aisle across from the cough drops I was looking at (summer colds are the worst).

"Kate! Kate! I did it!"
"You did what?"
"For my hearing aid!"

I turned around and saw that he had discovered the hearing aid batteries. That lead to discussions about what batteries he uses (the orange ones - we do love universal hearing aid battery color coding), whether or not he needs any right now (not really he has two or three left in the case) and how much they are ($10.99). We then looked for the sign that said "hearing aid batteries" and tried to figure out what section of the store they were in so we could find them again (pharmacy). In the end we spent about 20 minutes on this "incidental teaching" lesson, which I never could have planned to be as instructional as it worked out to be.

Later that day, when I was writing the daily notes home to parents he asked the question he always asks, "What's it say?" I read it to him. Then he said, "What about the hearing aid batteries? I am proud of me."

(Completely unrelated I want to share a funny story. This same studeOfficial film posternt also bought a father's day card today. He chose one with Spiderman on it. Then he re-wrote the Spider-Pig song from the Simpsons Movie, "Spider Dad, Spider Dad, He's my dad, Spider Dad. He's so buff. He helps me out. Spider Dad, Spider Dad. He takes me to Special Olympics. He buys me all the binoculars. Spider Dad, Spider Dad.")
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