This week, I sat with my team and "rebalanced" our first grade classrooms from three to four. We have too many children in our three classrooms and a new teacher will be added next week. We were tasked with choosing six students from each of our classrooms to move to the new classroom.
I'm not going to lie. My hearing loss influenced my choices.
I immediately chose a boy whose "normal" volume is a scream. My hearing aids actually whistled every time he spoke. After countless shushes, he either isn't able or isn't willing to adjust his volume. That's one.
My second choice was a proverbial "low talker". No amount of prompting could get her to raise her volume. Even if I increased my hearing aid volume, her little voice escaped my perception. The frustration was great. For both of us. She had to go. Two.
My third and fourth choices included a heavy accent and baby-speech. Hearing loss affects one's comprehension. Poor articulation and accents diminish my understanding of speech even more... Three and four.
Number five is the student who interrupts every other student every single time. Repeated requests for him to stop blurting over other students have been ignored. I need to be able to hear the students I call on -- one at a time. Five.
Six... number six is just a kid. A regular first grader. One I just had to choose to balance the other class.
I wish all of my choices could've been like six.