UTF Spotlight: Morgan Makar
“She was the cutest little thing. You connect but you don’t know how. It’s just an unknown connection.”
This is how Morgan Makar, a native of Riverton, Utah, described teaching a deaf girl how to swim. “I wouldn’t have changed it for the world,” Makar said. “It was just so cool to put my passion both in swimming but also in teaching.”
Makar loves to swim and was on the USU water polo team when it began almost two years ago. She is also a first-year grad student in the deaf education program. Currently, she is a first-semester UTF for an ASL class and is proudly bilingual.
Makar became curious in deaf education because of her best friend’s parents: the dad being deaf and the mom his interpreter. During this time of meeting her friend’s dad’s deaf family and learning ASL herself, she remembers thinking: “oh man, this is such a beautiful language.” She also grew to love the tight-knit culture of the deaf community.
“I want to be there for them,” she said. “I love helping students who seem to be disadvantaged in a way.” According to Makar, these deaf students are disadvantaged when education doesn’t play to their “visual language.” For Makar, traditional education is geared toward auditory processes, something that deaf children can’t tap into.
Because of her love for ASL and the deaf culture, Makar wants to be an advocate for deaf children.
For this reason, besides being a teacher of the deaf, another dream of Makar’s is to teach deaf children how to swim. This dream began when she helped a little deaf girl to swim two summers ago.
ASL is its own language, Makar said. “The kids take it and manipulate it in their own way,” she said. “As if you were taking a piece of paper and you were drawing and painting of how to express yourself, that’s their way of expressing themselves.” And, according to Makar, teaching them to swim would give them another way to express themselves.
Next year, Makar will be student teaching. The first half of her teaching will be in Salt Lake while the other half will be in one of the residential deaf schools across the U.S. This will take her one step closer to realizing her dreams.
“I’m excited to be able to be on an adventure.”