Jacob and Elijah Shaddox are brothers. Jacob is 21 years old and just moved into an apartment with his girlfriend. He graduated from a technical college with an Associate's degree in Computer Maintenance. He works for a school district as a computer technician. Elijah is almost 18 years old. He is hearing impaired, has Tourette Syndrome, OCD and ADHD. He is a junior in high school. Elijah lives with his mom Mary and her wife, his stepmom. Mary has a bachelor's in deaf education and a masters in special education, and is an educational diagnostician. Life is always changing and this blog has chronicled many of these changes and will continue to do so!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Beavers Built the Dam--Teacher Story

The first story I want to share is “Beavers Built the Dam”. I swear if I ever write a book about my time as a teacher of the deaf, this will be the title of the it. It has been the inspiration for me to start keeping a list of all of my “stories” from my time in the classroom. By the way, I won’t be using the students’ real names and every student I refer to is going to be named Emily. Emily was the name I would have chosen if I had had a girl, but no girl for me.


I was teaching at the high school at the time and had four hearing impaired students. Most of them had good speech and did not rely solely on sign language to communicate. I always signed with them, but most of the time they spoke and didn’t use their hands to communicate. I had two students in a World Geography class. One day we were studying Egypt and having a discussion about the chapter in the book. There was a picture of the Answan Dam and of course a paragraph about the dam. I was talking about the dam when my young lady, named Emily, looked right at me, pointed to the picture of the dam and said, “Beavers built that dam!”

I looked at her and said, “No, beavers did not build that dam. Beavers build dams but not that dam.” She then replied, “Beavers built the damn” and again pointed to the picture. She was very sure of herself and was determined she was correct. Now this picture was of a large cement dam and it was clear to see that there was NO way an animal built the dam. I grinned from ear to ear and stifled a chuckle and again said, “Beavers build dams, but NOT that dam.”

I then went to my computer to connect to the internet. I pulled up several pictures of dams that were built by beavers. I called Emily and the other student over so we could discuss HOW a dam built by a beaver was different from a man made dam.

We had a good little chuckle over it and from that point on, if something outrageous was said in class we would say, “Oh that is a beaver built the dam story

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