Thursday, November 28, 2013

"Ethical dilemma" by Federico Quintana

One major challenge of ethical dilemma I faced at my campus regarding to sign language interpreter in classroom issues. Some of deaf students attend to an inclusion class that requires interpreter to be present in the class to provide a full communication access for the deaf students. When instructor gives the verbal lectures and the interpreter’s job is to facilitate and translate from verbal information into sign language information and the interpreter service was accommodated by IEP commission. Most of time, interpreters did not show up class on time, interpreters failed to call in sick and interpreters being pulled out of class for some reason- these issues had significant impact on deaf students’ quality of education, decline in academic performance and missing out the important information from instructor lectures. This obstacle brings a great educational barrier for the deaf students. It is very important to have an interpreter present in the class for deaf students because they deserved education opportunities as any other students. I had discussed this issue with my supervisors, campus principal and school district and we still have not solved this issue because there are not adequate qualified interpreters in our town. The budget is also an issue because they couldn’t open more interpreter positions in our school district.

STC begins deaf interpreter training program - News - Your Valley Voice STC begins deaf interpreter training program


Thursday, August 22, 2013

“HELP ME !” Short Story By Federico Quintana, 2012
The young 12 years old deaf boy, Tim, and he was thinking about transferring to the oral school because he was shamed of his identity, denying his own culture and language. He was mainstreamed into the public school. His math regular Education teacher found out Tim’s plan and wrote a note to him that he should be transferred to the deaf school instead of oral school and use FULL ASL. Tim laughed at the teacher and thinking the oral is better than ASL because he wanted to be fit in the hearing peers. A few nights before he is officially been transferred to the oral school and while he was deeply asleep on his bed. He felt cold air blew his face as he peeked his eyes open … He was about having the worst nightmare ever he encountered in his life.

The deaf ghost, Laurent Clerc, leaned toward Tim’s face and Clerc signed “ASL USE THIS YOUR NATURAL LANGUAGE  … ORAL SCHOOL GO DON’T …. DEAF SCHOOL YOU GO WILL…HAPPY”. Tim was paralyzed with fear and tried to reach his arm out to touch Clerc’s body but he is waving in the air because Clerc is a ghost. Tim got really frightened and yelled at him to get away and do not want to sign ASL. Clerc’s ghost apparition became red because he is very upset that Tim is rejecting ASL and his own Deaf identity. Clerc signed back to Tim, “CURSE YOU IF USE VOICE BOTH YOUR HANDS EACH FINGER DISAPPEAR WILL”

Tim replied in his frightened and unarticulated voice, “What?!!”, one of his little pinkie disappeared and he became really freaked out. Tim screamed “Why? Why? No, no! Help me! Help me!” and 8 of his fingers were all gone!

Tim only had one last thumb left and he figured a way to break the curse by using sign language. Tim shakily signed “HELP-ME” with his one thumb and other hand without fingers and Clerc smiled back to him. All of the sudden, the door opened, Clerc disappeared and left Tim signed frozenly “HELP-ME” as he sat on his bed. His deaf father signed “YOU OK ? WHAT WRONG?” And Tim signed back “ORAL SCHOOL DO NOT WANT GO … DEAF SCHOOL I WANT GO…. PLUS I THINK…. NOW ASL I LIKE”. “YES FINALLY” signed deaf father as he hugged Tim tightly.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

I enjoyed watching Steve Job’s inspiring speech at Stanford for Commencement address, I was very fortunate for closed caption (English subtle) and English transcript provided from the video because for a deaf educator like me was able to perceive every word uttered by the man who made the significant historical contribution and changes in mankind, as we know, regarding with advancement of technology. His presentation topics were focused mainly on as following: urging post college students to follow their dreams and perceive the failures, obstacles and struggle in our life as an opportunity for the success. Lastly he challenged the philosophy of death. This is probably one of most interesting graduation commencement speeches ever I heard, it was inspiring to hear the speech especially from the businessman who successfully changed the mankind history.

As a principal, as I was inspired by Steve job’s speech, near the end of school year, I will provide a staff development meeting with veteran teachers about the mentor for incoming new teachers. In the meeting, I will share benefits of mentorships as published in various literatures; a short paid training will serve as incentives for the participating mentors to work with new teachers. At the end of session, I will provide a sign-up sheet for veteran teachers. This strategy will help identify veteran teachers who are genuinely interested in serving as mentors to first-year teachers.

Additionally, I will always emphasize promoting awareness of diversity, particularly religious beliefs, gender sensitivity and ethnicity, among students, staff, parents and community members. It is important for me to manage, and shape, the campus culture by analyzing and responding appropriately to diverse needs. This can be accomplished by using data, such as campus climate, demographics and emerging issues, to develop a campus vision and create a plan for implementation.

Communication and working with diverse groups to make certain all students have equal opportunities for educational success must take place. I will devote my time and efforts to pursuing a better learning environment for every individual. On my campus, there seems to be strong team leadership overall, but within each academic department, there may be a lack of team leadership. For example, the special education and regular education departments need to maintain greater communication to ensure the provision of services, in accordance with IEPs, for students with special needs. As a principal, I would plan staff development meetings for the special education and regular education faculty to discuss strategies for improving the quality of education for students with special needs and increasing collaboration between the departments.

In my reflection of his final words from the speech that he challenged the infamous philosophy question of “Death”, it certainly did give me a Goosebumps. He wrapped up his dark “Death” presentation into a bright side of being successful in the life as he stated “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish” in a satirical way. The historical leaders scratched the page opening from the history book because they did something great contribution to the mankind that they don’t want the leader’s influences to be forgotten for generations and this is something that we should consider while using leadership’s hat. The messages sublimed through his speech for the education world which the campus and instructional leaders should share the effective instructional and motivational practices for the teachers to increase student’s academic achievement and technology knowledge/skills. It is our job as administrators or teacher leaders to ensure the jointly effort of continuing the tradition of academic excellence for all individual students and school stakeholders.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

2009 Published "My goals for partnership community to advocate the Deaf and Hard of Hearing" Federico Quintana

The campus  is a public high school with a day school program for deaf students; there are numerous challenges in deaf education The non-deaf student population at our campus is just over 1,000, while there are 40 deaf students. Most of the deaf students have tested lowest in all subject core areas, although this has had little impact on the status of the AEIS report because it is such a small subgroup. The low scores are still a significant concern for our program supervisor and deaf educators. Additionally, the deaf student subgroup test scores have not improved since 2008, which is a clear indication that this subgroup is in much need of improvement.

Most deaf students do not have adequate access to communication at home because their families typically lack sign language skills or deaf awareness/education. This program will benefit participants greatly, especially parents improving their sign language skills to communicate with their deaf children, and staff and families wanting better awareness of resources and deaf culture. Partnerships like this increase student achievement by:
  1. Providing full communication between parents and teachers to discuss concerns about deaf and hard of hearing students’ communication and educational needs.
  2. Increasing diversity awareness among all school stakeholders as it applies to deaf people.
  3. Finding a potential candidate or sponsor to donate money or supplies to the deaf education program.
  4. Having stakeholder access to resources for supporting deaf students’ educational achievements and post-graduation plans.
  5. Demonstrating significant improvement in academic grades and TAKS/STAR performances.
  6. Increasing parental involvement in deaf child’s education.
We are committed to find solutions to improve deaf students’ test performances, but it won’t be an easy task. Fortunately, there is the annual State Conference for Deaf Educators, a great opportunity for our deaf educators to work with other deaf educators from all over the state to share ideas, explore alternate options to deaf education curricula and acquire new research regarding deaf education. Deaf educators and administrators should work collaboratively to find and develop strategies for increasing parents’ involvement in deaf children’s education by providing sign language classes, afterschool activities and/or weekend activities.  Additionally, ongoing professional development for deaf educators is also a key to improving deaf students’ test scores, academic achievements and full communication access.  Teachers and administrators should explore these areas to incorporate the effective partnership program as following:

-Provide strategies for increasing parental involvement in their deaf children’s education
-Provide full access to communication for deaf students
-Work collaboratively to develop an appropriate curriculum and instructional methods for deaf students
-Increase awareness among school stakeholders of diversity, including deaf people
-Work with agencies and associations serving deaf people to provide resources for deaf students

As a deaf educator, two main career goals are to advocate for deaf students and to work with schools to find creative solutions in bridging the communication gap between deaf students and their teachers through not only better instructional practices, but also through a better understanding of Deaf culture, greater parental involvement, and having deaf professionals at the school. I am firmly convinced that research is needed in order to identify, understand, and propose solutions to the various dilemmas that affect deaf education programs.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

EDLD 5326 Week 1 Discussion

The tenth-grade students at Washington high school. An urban school with a diverse student population, have little knowledge of higher education opportunities and have not began to plan their post-high school futures. Ms.Hall, an English teacher, has recognized that her students need to start planning immediately. She wants to expose students to possibilities, as well as educate them and their families about the wide range of post-high school educational opportunities. What types of family-school-community partnership would be most beneficial to these students  how would Mrs. Hall go about establishing a partnership committee, and what are possible projects to put on agenda for the first meeting ?

Ms. Hall should develop the instructional plan for students to increase knowledge of higher education opportunities and provide the guidance to develop their post –high school plans. The family-school-community partnership would be most beneficial to these students by planning the program as following:

-Consult with career technology education advisors to explore the necessary resources for planning the program and provide the career inventory assessment for students to explore their interests matching the future careers.

-Consult with business communities for planning the field trips for students to visit the workplaces.

-Having one of students’ parent or guardian member to be involved with student’s post-high school graduation plans and acting as a mentor or a guidance to reinforce student’s planning process as part of class instructional requirement. For example, the students will go with the parents or guardian to college or university visiting center to collect the information and a discussion with academic advisors for application requirements and catalog of courses or majors/minors. After the visits the campuses and students will write the essay about reflection of their experiences.

-Having one of students’ parent or guardian member give a presentation about their jobs career, work experiences and tips for job interviews in classroom.

This type of planning will require career advisors or school counselors for their inputs and ideas for planning the program. Also she will need to communicate with university and college visitation centers to provide information or send one of their representatives to help with developing the plan for the program. In addition, she should participate in PTA meetings to bring up her idea for the program and ask for the feedback and inputs from participants this way will increase parents and guardian involvement in students’ educational and provide full communication access between staffs and parents/guardians. Once she have the program all planned out with reasonable timeline and it is important to having school administrators to review the plans to ensure the program are completely legal compliant and follow the standard procedures, provide feedbacks and allocating the budget for the program.