First Day of Class


It’s the first day of class, and you have Deaf/HH students in your class, but you’re uncertain of which teaching strategies may be successful. The first day always brings excitement and a bit of anxiety about the unknown.  You may ask yourself the following questions:

  • What teaching strategies will you use with Deaf/HH students?
  • How will you do the ‘simple’ things like calling on students and preparing materials so that Deaf/HH students benefit from your teaching?
  • How will you work with the interpreter or captionist in your class?


On the first day of class, get to know your interpreter/captionist, as they can be a valuable resource for issues that may surface.

Take a few minutes to get to know the Deaf/HH student(s).  Getting a feel for their communication needs and their background lets them know that you want to make the class a successful experience.  This will also show the hearing students that everyone is an equal contributing member of the class.

Because of their hearing loss, Deaf/HH students tend to be visual learners.  All students will benefit from printed or visual materials that support your lecture.

The ultimate responsibility for the class is yours. Take the time to clearly define your expectations for acceptable behavior in the classroom, including communication and equal access for all.

If there are issues on the first day of class involving Deaf/HH students, take the time to discuss these issues privately with the students after class with the interpreter.


Related Video: 
What tips do you have for new teachers working with Deaf/HH students for the first time? -Tabitha
Related Video: 
What can teachers do about the classroom environment (e.g. seating lighting, announcements) to make you feel welcome? - Jonathan