forum SignWriting List Forum
  Message 2581  |  Previous | Next  [ Up Thread ] Message Index
Date:  Wed Jan 12, 2000  3:13 pm
Subject:  New Member

Hi Everybody!
My name is Ingrid Foggitt and I am writing this from South Africa.  I was introduced to Sign Writing a few months ago through the Internet.
Sign Writing has a special interest for me because I teach Deaf children at Fulton School for the Deaf in Kwazulu-Natal.  We are about 15 miles (25 km) from Durban.  Not meaning to boast, but  I am one of the two qualified Deaf teachers in South Africa which does say a lot about where we are at!  I obtained by Bachelor of Arts in Education (4 yrs) degree at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg (one of the capital cities of South Africa).  Of course, I had a full-time interpreter throughout my studies.  I have been teaching at Fulton for the last three years, 2000 being my fourth.  I have taught many subjects in such a short time!  Geography, General Science, Environmental Studies, Business Skills, HOme Economics, Humanities, English, Sign Language and Deaf Studies.  One would most definitely think that I had been at it for 10 years or more, but thats not so  :)
In 1999, my focus narrowed down to two subjects:  English and Sign Language.  I suppose that the problems one faces when teaching Deaf kids is universal?  I say this because I have met many Deaf teachers from overseas who are more or less in the same situation as I am.  Strangely enough, it almost always seems to turn out that you have the deaf teacher and deaf kids on the one side and the hearing teachers on the other side and in-between are the usual misunderstandings, frustrations, those miracle penny-dropping moments of understanding, the arguments, the tensions, the walking-on-eggshell attitudes, etc, etc -- know what I mean?  However, I sometimes think that this is all part of the experience of being involved in this particilar field.  It has to be because why do some of us seem to experience exacly the same thing -- continents apart?
To avoid this becoming a thesis :), the reason I decided to get involved in Sign Writing and experiment in it is rather simple:  I am an educationalist and anything that furthers the education of ANY group of people deserves looking into.  I do not know enough about SW to be able to go deep into this but I think that the reason above is enough?  Well, well, if  you are NOT convinced  :) then I have another reason that no-one can argue:  I showed some samples of SW (gained from the Internet) to the kids.  The response was overwhelming  -- I cannot say NO to a response like that.  Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "The secret of education is respecting the pupil"  -- Something I like to aspire to.
I hope this is a good introduction?  And I hope that it will be the start of a challenging and rewarding relationship between myself and all of you on the SW List as well as all of you involved in SW.
Ingrid Foggitt

  Replies Author Date
2582 SignWriting in South Africa ;-) Valerie Sutton Wed  1/12/2000

  Message 2581  |  Previous | Next  [ Up Thread ] Message Index