Mrs. Kaniski


Mrs. Kaniski showing school spirit.

Mrs. Kaniski is an ASL teacher at Segerstrom High School. She’s also the advisor for the ASL club. 

Q: Why did you decide to teach American Sign Language?

A: I have had a passion for ASL for many, many years. When I became a teacher, I wanted to share my passion with my students. My heart swells when I see my students are able to express themselves using ASL. 

Q: How long have you been teaching ASL? How many levels do you teach? Within each of those levels, specifically, what do students learn about?

A: I started teaching ASL in 2005-2006. Here at Segerstrom, we have levels 1, 2, and 3. I teach levels 2 and 3. Level 1, taught by Ms. Chilton, is an intro to ASL and Deaf culture. Students learn how to exchange personal information, their ABC’s, and numbers. Level 2 (taught by Mrs. Kaniski) teaches vocabulary varying from describing people and things to giving opinions to practicing the basics of signed conversation. Level 3 teaches additional vocabulary terms and how to talk in complete, advanced sentences. 

Q: What is something people should know about American Sign Language? 

A: ASL requires someone who is a visual learner. It is its own language. It is not just English. Words and phrases can be expressed sometimes with just one sign. ASL takes you into the wonderful world of Deaf culture.

Q: Why should students take ASL?

A: Students should take ASL because it is fun to learn and it is unique. Most people will encounter Deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals in the workplace. Knowing ASL and Deaf culture can bridge the communication gap that often exists between the Deaf world and the hearing world. 

Q: Do you plan on teaching a level four class?

A: The curriculum for a level 4 class has been chosen. However, we cannot form a class without enough student interest.

Q: What are some activities that you assigned over the year?  

A: Deaf Events! Attending deaf community gatherings to experience deaf culture itself. This year we have done a job and a job search project. Level 2 researched the Deaflympics. Level 3 researched DE’VIA (deaf arts). This week, both levels will be starting to read books about deafness and culture.