I Cannot Do That

Sometimes when teaching the deaf, the hearing workers meet me afterward. “Oh, that was so simple.” The deaf understood you.” Then I usually explain how to be simple and easy to understand. I often hear, “Oh, I cannot do that. People will laugh at me. People will think I am stupid.” Yes, maybe they will. It has happened so often to me, I do not pay attention to it anymore. I will do whatever I need to do (and is right to do) so Deaf people can understand.

1. Sometimes you can feel embarrassed by being simple. They want to appear educated and smart. However, it takes a smart person to be simple. (Being simple is hard work!) Think of the people you are trying to reach. Think of their needs. Be simple with no embarrassment so people can understand God’s Word.

2. You cannot be too simple. Simple is in the mind of each person. What is simple to you, may be very hard to understand for someone else. We must try to understand what THEY do or do not understand and attempt to teach them to understand. It is not what we know, but what they know. But we must start where they understand and improve on their understanding.

3. Childish and simple are NOT the same thing. Being simple does not mean you are treating people like children. I try very hard to be simple, but NOT childish. Keep away from childish or cute type pictures that are used for children. I always try to use photographs or seriously drawn pictures when possible. Teach subjects for teenagers and adults but teach them simply. We can teach the Bible to adults, but if they do not understand us, we help no one.

4. Take it step by step. I am always saying to workers, take baby steps when teaching. No one will understand everything at one time. You cannot teach Algebra to 1st graders. They must learn the simpler math first. Teach little by little and watch their understanding grow.

If they do not understand the way you teach, then teach the way they understand. – Unknown

The Silent Word

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