Future Reflections Winter/Spring 1990, Vol. 9 No. 1

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by Sharon Maneki

Editor's Note: Sharon Maneki is president of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland. She also chairs the committee to select the Distinguished Educator of Blind Children for 1990. Other members of the committee are: Jacquilyn Billey, Connecticut; Allen Harris, Michigan; Joyce Scanlan, Minnesota; and Fred Schroeder, New Mexico.

The National Federation of the Blind will recognize an outstanding teacher of blind children at our 1990 convention June 30 - July 7, at the Dallas-Fort Worth Hyatt in Texas. The winner of this award will receive an expense-paid trip to the convention, a check for $500, an appropriate plaque at the banquet, and an opportunity to make a presentation about the education of blind children to the National Federation of the Blind Parents of Blind Children Division early in the convention.

Anyone who is currently teaching or counseling blind children or administering a program for blind children is eligible to receive this award. It is not necessary to be a member of the National Federation of the Blind to apply. However, the winner must attend the National Convention. Teachers may be nominated by colleagues, supervisors, or friends. The letter of nomination should explain why the teacher is being recommended for this award.

The nominee must meet two additional requirements: write a one-page letter describing his or her beliefs and approach to teaching, and answer the following ten questions.

1. List your degrees, the institutions from which they were received, and your major area or areas of study.
2. How long and in what programs have you taught blind children?
3. In what setting do you teach? (Example: classroom in school for the blind, special education classroom, itinerant program, etc.)
4. How many students do you teach regularly this year? What subjects do you teach?
5. How many of your students read and write primarily using: a) Braille, b) large print,c) closed circuit television, d) recorded materials, e) small print?
6. How many of your students use both print and Braille?
7. At what age do you recommend that your students begin: a) reading Braille, b) writing with a slate and stylus, c) writing with a Braille writer?
8. At what age do you recommend that your students begin to learn independent cane travel?
9. How do you determine which children should learn cane travel and which children should not?
10. a) At what age do you recommend that students begin typing? b) When do you expect them to be able to hand in typed assignments?

Send all material by April 15, 1990, to: Sharon Maneki, Chairman, Teacher Award Committee, 9736 Basket Ring Road, Columbia, Maryland 21045; telephone: (301) 992-9608.

The education of blind children is one of our most important concerns. Attendance at a National Federation of the Blind convention will enrich a teacher's experience by affording the opportunity to meet other teachers who work with blind children, to meet parents, and to meet blind adults who have had experiences in a variety of educational programs. Help us recognize a distinguished teacher by distributing this announcement and encouraging teachers to submit their applications. We are pleased to offer this award and look forward to nominations from many well-qualified educators.

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