Topeka educator includes all students by teaching American Sign Language

Local News

TOPEKA (KSNT) – A Randolph Elementary teacher chose to incorporate American Sign Language (ASL) into her curriculum to help ensure all kids are involved and included in classroom activities.

Kelly Rahmeier has been teaching kindergarten for the past 21 years. A couple of years ago, she had a child in her class with partial hearing loss. She decided then to start teaching ASL to all of her students. It quickly caught on, and the students loved it.

“So we just started incorporating ASL into everything we did,” Rahmeier said. “Into the calendar, directions, new words of the day, and it just kind of stuck. “

ASL is not only an official language used within the deaf community, but it is also beneficial for children who are more kinesthetic learners as they can connect some sort of movement with a word or concept.

“It gives them another thing to love about coming to school,” Rahmeier said. “This morning, it was cute. One of the little girls walked in and without using her voice said good morning. We have a student in our school who is hard of hearing that’s learning sign language and so I told her that one day she needed to walk by and say that to him and see what he thinks.”

Rahmeier is currently in graduate school getting her master’s degree in deaf education, in hopes of becoming the next teacher of the deaf in her school district. But for now, she’s focused on making everyone feel included.

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