Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Making the Transition from Student with Visual Impairment to Teacher with Visual Impairment

Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Making the Transition from Student with Visual Impairment to Teacher with Visual Impairment

Article excerpt

Many of you who are reading this can remember student teaching when you were in college. Your memories are probably colored by a wide range of emotions. Perhaps you recall a perfectly planned lesson that fell flat, a child who struggled to learn and was finally successful, an unexpected event like a tire drill or a pet hamster escaping from a cage, or a stern cooperating teacher who reprimanded you for not keeping the class under control. For many educators, student teaching is an intense time of learning; it is the first time we perform as teachers after several years of watching, listening, and talking about teaching.

For a teacher who also has a visual impairment, there is the additional challenge of demonstrating one's abilities in a setting in which most people don't expect a teacher to be blind or have low vision. Perhaps the visually impaired student teacher feels like a pioneer who must persist in the journey just because others wondered if he or she could really achieve what he or she set out to do. Not only are other teachers and students unfamiliar with the ways in which a teacher with visual impairment manages daily tasks, but bis or her university supervisor has probably never worked with a student teacher who has a visual impairment. Fortunate aspiring teachers who are visually impaired will be assigned a supervisor like the first author of this month's feature article, who believed that his student could become an excellent teacher, even though he had no idea what that would entail. …

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