Dude

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  1. Chris,

    Whatever this kid is missing on visually, he is going to compensate auditorily 100 times more! Did you know that blind people are great at tuning pianos. That is because they have an incredible ear! Their remaining senses are so much greater than “normal” people. This kid will acquire the language faster than anyone else in the class, I bet you! Don’t look at it as a deficit , but as a heightened strength.
    Everything you write on the board (the visual stuff he can’t see) you are going to have to translate out loud (perhaps more than you normally would).
    I would also pair him up with a real nice student and have that student translate on the side, whenever needed (like simultaneous translation). Hopefully the kid has learned to self -advocate and will welcome the help of the other student or tell him/her that it s not needed when the case may be.
    Do ask your younger students if they can put your stories into Braille in Spanish, even it is phonetically only, so he can benefit from reading as well.
    Also you may have to do more Kindergarden reading where you read out loud. Anything you can think of where you can tap into his strength (auditory) and minimize his deficit (visual).
    I am a fan of Bob Edward “ weekend Edition” on NPR. He is a great journalist and this morning , he was interviewing this deaf rapper (Sean Forbes). I had just read your post and I thought OMG, I have to tell Chris about this! Unfortunately you can no longer podcast the show but may be you can find a transcript of the interview and look up this rapper (awesome music, and great lyrics), and feel inspired.
    Do a paradigm shift (sorry for the cliché). Look at it as an opportunity to differentiate your instruction and that you are lucky to be given this challenge!

    Good luck Chris, I am sure you will handle this in a great way and learn a lot from it!

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