Mr. Chris Ballentine To All Instructors
Hailed from Kalamazoo, Michigan and born deaf into a hearing family, I grew up wearing hearing aids and speaking English. I then started learning Signed Exact English (SEE) until going to National Technology Institute for the Deaf college in Rochester, NY. This was when I first learned of ASL and deaf culture thus began my passion for learning ASL and teaching it. After graduation with a photography degree at RIT, I joined a full time traveling drama Christian group called “The Tenth Coin” all over the US ministering to churches. Later, I moved to Belize, Central America working at a Deaf School as an Assistant Administrator and interim Director. After living abroad for 17 months, I returned to the US to marry my wife - we recently celebrated 20th years this past Fall. We have 3 deaf children whom we love dearly and couldn’t be more proud of. Our oldest will be graduating from high school this June.
I have taught ASL in a wide variety places. In Massachusetts, I taught at an Adult Community Center in Boston. I also taught at North Essex Community College in Andover, MA and at Boston University for few years. Currently, I am an ASL instructor at North Central University for the past 4 years.
I enjoy seeing students blossom through understanding of the language and am able to carry on conversations without the aid of an ASL interpreter. I do throw in tidbits of deaf cultures to help my students understand what it’s really all about. Watching students develop a respect for ASL and the deaf culture makes it all worthwhile of my time and investments. Some of my former students have eventually become a teacher of deaf children or even ASL interpreters. One even became a missionary to deaf people in Africa! That is my inspiration and passion.
When not working on lesson plans or teaching, I enjoy Netflix. I am a movie buff! I also enjoy photography, going to my children’s sport meets and cheering them on, socializing on Facebook, keeping in touch with family and friends near and far. Cooking is a must for me, love creating new recipes from nothing! I am excited to be working with your children at WEST and look forward building bridges!
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