Autumn Already

asl_helloWow, this school year is already flying by.

We are understaffed in the interpreter department. If you are in the Jacksonville, FL area and you are looking to join DCPS, let me know. I’ll get you in touch with the right person.

Other than that, the year is going well. The cadets are settling into their routines. Our school is improving each year. We now have a school grade of C school versus the Ds we’ve had the three years prior. I’m really seeing a difference this year.

I have added a Sign Word GIF gallery. They are all me. I did post them to Twitter and Google Plus in the past. I am not an ASL teacher. It is best to learn from Deaf or from an ASL teacher but it’s out there…and now it’s here.

Yesterday, I attended a workshop in Orlando on The Dos, Don’ts and Maybes of Educational Interpreting presented by Jodi Raffoul. It was amazing. I wish I could keep her in my pocket and pick her brain when I need too. One of the things we discussed was tools to show how our students hear. One of them was a video of The Flintstones talking and it shows you how someone with a hearing loss would hear the cartoon. You can find that video here. There are tons of tools that she talked about and will be sending us in an email soon. I will definitely be posting them to share. If you get the chance, take a workshop that Jodi Raffoul puts on. She is funny and full of knowledge.


Whoa..where has the time gone?

20150518_111621_671Where has the year gone?  I can’t believe that after this weekend we only have nine more school days left.   The kids are ready for the summer and so is the faculty and staff.

The sixth graders were treated to a trip to Legoland last week.  We had fun….even though I got very sunburned.  The kids had a great lab there that taught them to use robotic legos to do tasks via a computer program.  Wait…I want to learn too. We have a few more tests to get through this upcoming week and then it should be lots of hand on project time to finish out the year.  I’m hoping the students keep up their good work.  I’ve seen tremendous growth.  It is so fun to see how far they have come since August.

This summer is going to be the summer of workshops.  I’m attending Silent Weekend in June.  Then an intensive EIPA training in Omaha, NE which is immediately followed by the Summer Institute at UNF.  I hope my skills improve as I’m taking the EIPA test again during the Summer Institute.  I really want that 4.0 or higher.  OOF!

I hope all the educational interpreters have a great summer.  Refresh and revitalize yourselves!  I’ll keep you posted on how all my workshops go.


2nd Quarter Ends & quick updates

Ugh..I’m getting bad about not posting things.  I apologize.  Things have been whirlwind and stagnant at the same time.  Let me break it down…

Whirlwind:  The students are joining after school programs and that takes up time and energy setting up interpreter coverage.  Because some of these programs require multiple days and extended hours I have to provide the district with how many extra hours of pay the interpreters are the school are going to need.  Fun stuff… I wouldn’t ever want to be a lead interpreter for a district.  Oof…too much. ..and then when the student decides to cancel…more followup to our lead interpreter.

Stagnant: Educational interpreting in my opinion is a lot of the same thing, everyday. Sure the topics, lessons, situations vary but for the most part…  This isn’t a bad thing.  It’s nice to know where you are interpreting everyday.  Thank goodness for the random assembly to freak you out in the middle of a day-to-day rut. 😀

So why haven’t I been posting?  Honestly, it’s laziness.  I haven’t felt like I’ve had much to contribute to the interpreting community lately.  I’m focusing on my skills.  Today was a teacher planning day so I seized and opportunity to attend a workshop this morning on Prosody.  I love learning.  Especially when it’s about something I really enjoy doing.  I feel like prosody is one of those things that you could take a million workshops on and still only scratch the surface of what that means.

I’m thankful for the four-day weekend.  I know that testing season is coming up. In fact, I believe we have some testing after we get back from the holiday.  Time to fill my head with songs so I can repeat them and keep myself from dozing. During the reading tests, I can interpret the directions and then am required to sit quietly while the students test.  Whee…

I will try to keep you updated with my journey.  I’m going to a lot of workshops over the next few months.  I think I’m going to register to take the EIPA Performance test again at the end of the summer.

2014-2015 I’m ready!

JSMAL_logoI’m prepared for tomorrow.  Have schedules printed out for the first day. I think they have changed over the weekend but I hope not much. Have my black shirts ready for another year.  I made it really easy on myself this year and have bought five of the same shirt.  The cadets (students) all have to wear uniforms this year so I am planning on my own uniform of sorts.

I’m really excited.  The Deaf/HH program at the school has grown this year.  We will have three interpreters to cover classes this year.  Monday is going to be a little chaotic because one of the interpreters just got hired and will be heading to the School Board building to fill out paperwork.  Thank goodness we knew ahead a time and will have a sub-interpreter come for a couple of days.

I’m sure Monday night I’ll be exhausted after trying to get used to little hands, that I’m not familiar with, signing at me. Ahh receptive skills…how you elude me.

To all the educational interpreters, good luck and enjoy the school year.  Remember to hydrate, stretch, and take care of yourselves.


Winding down…

27 school days left.  Whoa!!

What a great year this has been so far.  So fun to see my student thrive and become a nice citizen of the world.  I know…there is still some work to be done but it’s nice to sit back and reflect.

FCAT is nearly finished for 7th grade.  I believe the other grades in the school still have some testing to do.  You would think that all the stress of school would be complete but just around the corner are “End of Course” exams and then their semester tests.  OOF!

As an interpreter, all this testing can be stressful.  Depending on your student, you may need to keep up with all the vocabulary you established throughout the year because it may come up on a test.  Also, sitting quietly while your student is testing can take a toll.  We all want a few minutes to sit quietly but during testing you can’t really “decompress” you have to be actively ready if your student needs anything interpreted on the test or if the teacher and or fellow students say anything.  My trick to keep my happy during this time is to get an “ear worm” of a happy song that I can sign in my head to keep my occupied. 

I have decided not to work this summer, instead I’m attending Silent Weekend in June and hope to get into the Summer Institute. I love improving my craft. Knowledge is power! 🙂


FCAT time!

I’ve been horrible about blogging lately.  I have no excuse….Just laziness.  Here are some quick updates.

It’s FCAT time here in Duval County Public Schools.  Lots of time to meditate between interpreting directions.

Taking a workshop on line about parsing text.  I’m way over my head and loving it.  Not sure if I’m doing it right but it’s making me think outside the box about my product and that’s always a good thing.

My intern is pretty much done with her hours but would like to continue on afterwards to keep honing her skills.  Awesome attitude to have and I hope it pays off for her in the long run.  I think I’m going to work on more team interpreting because I really miss being in the hot seat.

I’ll work on being better about blogging.  Sorry readers.


Spring Break is looming.

This is the time of year where the kids are initiated with FCAT drills.  Their poor little heads.  Wait…this is why they are here.

We have a few weeks until Spring Break and then they come back and a few weeks later it’s a week of testing. I’m not a fan of standardized tests but I see why some people think they are important.  Wait, no..I don’t see it. I remember growing up, you know..back when dinosaurs roamed the planet, and we would take a standardized test every few years.  I don’t recall it being every year.

As an interpreter  I get to see a variety of classrooms and there is a lot of great teaching going on.  Some of it gets interrupted by FCAT drills. I know that the state of Florida is moving way from FCAT and heading towards an End of Course exam for every calls.  I think we used to call that finals.  heh.