You may have heard, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” This is exactly what new American Sign Language teacher Danielle Frazier strives to do in her classroom. By teaching ASL, she feels that she can give to the Deaf community and encourage more communication between the deaf and hearing.
Before becoming a teacher at LCM, Frazier was an educational interpreter for deaf students in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Following that, she taught 4th and 5th grade at a private Christian school. Her teaching career began in 2018, and she started teaching at LCM this year. Frazier said she chose to work LCM rather than a different school because it was one of the few schools offering an ASL teaching position. She got her start in sign language just nine years ago.
“I was motivated to learn sign language from a friend at my church years ago,” she said. “We had a sign team that would do sign language to different songs. Also, in my high school there was a Deaf girl who had an interpreter, and I became friends with her and learned the alphabet in sign language.”
According to Frazier, she said she wanted to teach ASL because it is what she went to college for and she loves sign language. She also has Deaf friends.
“I wanted to become a teacher because it is fulfilling to me to help students learn,” Frazier said. “I love to learn! The best part about teaching is seeing my hard work pay off. I love preparing for class and getting to share it with the students. When they show genuine interest in what I’m teaching, I know it was worth it.”
This year, Frazier has learned how to handle teaching during a pandemic and finding the balance between in-person and online instruction.
“It has been a learning experience to maintain both virtual classes and on campus classes,” Frazier said. “It is a lot to learn as a new teacher in the public school system.”
Frazier feels it is important for high school students to learn ASL if they want to become an interpreter.
“By taking ASL in high school they will be ahead of the game and have a good foundation to start from when entering college level classes,” Frazier said.
Frazier encourages her students to learn more ASL by going to Deaf events/socials.
“By going to Deaf socials students can make Deaf friends and become more motivated to learn the language,” Frazier said.