The sign starts near your head and moves out. Imagine taking
information from your head and putting it into someone else's head.
This sign can use either a double movement or a single movement.
The more formal version of the sign is done up near your forehead. A more
casual version of the sign starts considerably lower (down near your
shoulders). The double movement (forward, back, forward)
can mean "the process of teaching."
For example, I'd use the
double movement to convey the concept of "teaching" in the phrase: I
ENJOY TEACH TEACH ("I enjoy teaching.") If you use a single
movement you get a sentence such as: I LIKE TEACH CHILDREN. ("I like to
I'd do the single movement version of the sign in the phrase, "I TEACH
ASL." There is a lot of variety and you will see people doing it either
way and meaning the same thing--so don't stress about it.
TEACHER: The sign for "teacher"
combines one quick movement for TEACH and then does the flat-handed version
of the "PERSON" sign.
The sign TEACHER starts with both hands held up near the head in somewhat
"flattened O" handshapes.
Then both hands move forward about six inches. Then they change into "flat
hands" (like "B" handshapes with the thumb alongside--not draped over the
palm) and move downward to show a version of the PERSON sign. Thus you have
a combination of TEACH + PERSON = teacher. Memory aid: Take information
from your head and put it in the other person's head.
Note: The casual version of the sign
"teacher" is done lower.
Down closer to the chest and shoulders.
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