Job Title: I Am A Teacher Of The Deaf At A Public High School.
Type of Company: A five year public high school, covering grades 8-12.
Education: BA, Theater and Speech Therapy, Bridgewater State College (Bridgewater, MA) MS, Rehabilitation Counseling with the Deaf, Western Oregon University and Oregon State University
Previous Experience: I worked for the state in two different human services agencies as a social worker with deaf children and adults, and worked as a sign language interpreter and tutor.
Job Tasks: I have been assigned to teach a deaf student in the tenth grade. As the mentor and instructor of a student with special needs, I interact with a variety of staff people on my student's behalf. Most people in the school environment do not know American Sign Language -- the language my student employs -- so, in addition to translating, I have to teach them the ins and outs of requesting and using a sign language interpreter. Other teachers need to be taught how to make appropriate accommodations and modifications in their classroom environments and programs.
Reading can be a challenge to the deaf, who often learn to read and write by signing, so that American Sign Language is, in a sense, their first language. As a hearing person, even though I am fluent in sign language, it is critical for me to interact with Deaf adults who model clear and proper sign language. I sometimes teach sign language to high school students and adults in the community.
It's important as a Special Education teacher, to model social skills that engender friendships and respect. I work in a team of teachers, counselors, speech therapists, occupational therapists and physical therapists.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best parts of the job are when the student is enthusiastic about something they want to do or have done. In the case of deaf students, I also really appreciate it when people in the environment communicate directly with the students. I find the school setting fun and upbeat, and there is a lot of positive energy in the building. It's also great to see students come in as timid children, and leave as young adults.
On the other hand, it's difficult to be the only one who can fluently communicate with a student at the school. And it is tough for the student himself, who may have a difficult time making friends, as the other students are not fluent in sign language, even when they know just a bit.
1. Engage with deaf adults to gain language knowledge. 2. Take sign language courses. 3. Visit Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, a college for deaf students. 4. Visit local schools for the deaf, or special programs in your geographical area.
Additional Thoughts: People think that all Deaf people are the same. When I teach hearing people, I ask them what they think Deaf people are like, and they give me some answers. Then I ask them what hearing people are like, and they realize that everyone is an individual with unique likes, dislikes, abilities, talents, cultural/ethnic background. In short, one's hearing status does not define who they are. People sometimes think I know Braille, which is for people with visual disabilities, not hearing disabilities. Some people think that it is easy to lip read, when only about one quarter of sounds are actually visible on the lips. It is important to be respectful of other peoples' culture and values, which may be different from your own. Believing in civil rights is very important crucial to working with people who have disabilities.
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).
Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
You've found Ashford University, where school comes to you. Earn your bachelor's or master's degree online.
A degree from CTU connects you to what matters most: powerful professional network, real-world professional faculty and innovative technology. Once you earn your degree you hit the ground running.
Earn an NYU degree from anywhere in the country using our state-of-the-art online platform. You’ll attend live online classes, complete self-paced course work, and gain hands-on clinical experiences at field sites in or near your community.
Purdue University offers a strong foundation of tradition and history.
Concordia University - Portland offers several fully online 14-month Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs and a fully online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) program.
Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.
Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.
You’re serious about success. With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7.
At AIU, the Serious U, you can get started to get ahead.
Abilene Christian University is a national leader in Christian higher education and a place where students, faculty, staff and alumni make a real difference in the world.
Pursue your education at Pacific Oaks College.
The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.
Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.
Most stories include:
Please also see our detailed information about Secondary School Special Education Teachers, including: