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The Blind Educator - September 2004

Submitted by Blind-Admin-Ed on Wed, 09/01/2004 - 03:15

“Teaching is an instinctual art, mindful of potential, craving of realizations, a pausing, seamless process.” -- A. Bartlett Giamatti (1938 - 1989) US university administrator

As the beginning of a new teaching year approaches, we are reminded that teaching might not always appear to be a seamless process. Setting up classrooms, organizing school policies and schedules, and meeting new students is stressful. But despite the stress there truly does exist an exciting potential. The year begins a new start for everyone, and we have an opportunity to improve and inspire. The National Organization of Blind Educators, a division of the National Federation of the Blind, offers an opportunity for blind teachers to learn from each other and discuss issues common to our profession.

On Thursday, July 1 in Atlanta, Georgia, the National Organization of Blind Educators held our annual seminar. This year we experimented with the format of our meeting, involving everyone in icebreakers, small group discussions, and group presentations. We discussed the importance of alternative techniques needed to be effective teachers who are blind. Group topics included: classroom management, supervisory duties/ field trips, and relationships with colleagues.

Many teachers and students connect on nobe-l, a listserv sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind. This listserv allows people to exchange ideas and questions about teaching. To subscribe to this list, send an email to Leave the subject box empty, and type “subscribe nobe-l” in the body of the message.

If you are new to the field of education, either as a student or a teacher, our mentoring program gives you the opportunity to talk with a blind person who has experience teaching in your area of interest. You can sign up for our mentoring program by contacting Sheila Koenig at Please indicate the subject area and grade level in which you are interested in mentoring or being mentored.

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