Deaf teacher in mainstream school Watch

berrynmoo
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Hi

I rather think that the title gives it away!

I am 70% deaf and I wear hearing aids. I lipread and I do not know sign language. I also do not know any other deaf people, I have lived in the hearing world all my life and I feel very comfortable here.
I am currently training for my PGCE in primary school.

I know that I am making a mountain out of a molehill but today I was told that the school has some concerns about me in terms of my hearing.
They were very positive and said that my planning and assessment is very good. Their concerns are (and rightly so) that if they left me in the classroom would I hear if there was an emergency? What if I am doing group work, can I work with a group and listen to the rest of the class?

I have explained to them that it is practice and now that I am aware of these things I can train myself to look around more and not focus on one pupil. It is my absolute dream to be a teacher, I don't want to give it up. But, I feel like crawling into my bed and giving up because sometimes I feel like I am fighting to be accepted to no avail.

On the bright side - I was wondering if anyone can think of any strategies that I can use? For example waving a flag if they need help?

I have spoken to the disability services and for the first time in my life - yep - I am going to accept whatever help they give me.

Sorry it is so long. Thank you anyone who answers

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RK
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Hello. I've moved the thread across to our Education and Teaching careers forum, where more people might be able to offer advice.

I was a teacher myself for a while but don't think I knew any colleagues who were deaf, so have no direct experience.

But I'd hope that the school you are placed at and any other schools you might work at would do what they can to support you.

It looks like you're doing really well on the teaching side of things, so it's now all about getting those methods to deal with the situations where other teachers would use their hearing. It looks like you have some good ideas already (eg the flag) that could work well, so hopefully with some more thought and some help from others you might be able to devise a whole series of ways to deal with the extra challenges you face.

Good luck with it all
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jennythefriend
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I think you're incredibly brave! I admire what you're doing and I don't think you should give up. I mean, you've made it this far! Best of luck!
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Prestoria
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Unfortunately, I don't have the answers that you seek, but I wanted to mention that reading your thread was inspirational for me personally. I'm also deaf with hearing aids, and considered the teaching route but never took it seriously because of the hearing loss. It gives me hope that teaching is a viable possibility - thanks!
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SJC
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I think you are so inspirational and an idol in all fairness. I think you've just proved to be that disabilities aren't something that can stop you achieving what you want. *hugs*

As for strategies they could perhaps as you say wave a flag, simply put their hand up or be given a whiteboard to hold. I

I would recommend pre-printed cards one side white that students would leave on the desk and the other side orange with 'Help required' on. So it wasn't disruptive they could simply place the orange side up on the desk so staff would be able to see.
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Suzanathema
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This is a really inspirational post


I think children are very accepting, particularly younger ones. Anything you teach them as a classroom routine will be really easy for them to do. If you say that they have to put their hand up for attention then they will just learn through reinforcement to do it - particularly if they discover that "Miss! Miss! Miss!" doesn't work!


As for hearing if there is an emergency, two things: Firstly, you are in a classroom full of children - at least one of them is going to hear if there is an emergency and tell you, surely? Secondly, a school cannot discriminate against who they hire and have to make 'reasonable adjustments' for employees. In your case, a reasonable adjustment might be to make the fire alarm link up to a red light in your classroom or something similar. Also in primary you would probably have a TA - I don't think you could depend on it 100% of the time, but then you won't do groupwork 100% of the time anyway. Your response to hearing the rest of the class would be that you would direct your TA to help with keeping students on-task while you work with a small group.

Good luck with your PGCE! Once you're over the first placement things only get better
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EmyJ14
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One of my teachers was told in school that she could never become a teacher because she has hearing problems and she would always be second best to someone of the same intellectual standard with good hearing... and of course she has proved that wrong!

Don't give up! As others have said, there are loads of things you can do to make your job easier! Good luck with your PGCE

(and sorry I couldn't really answer your questions but thought you might like to hear this!)
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SuperSam_Fantastiche
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Try a flag system like someone above suggested, with red amber and green for whether they need help or not - and work with the class on a system for emergencies within the class - allowing them to come and get your attention physically for an emergency only or something like that. Maybe you could have a practise run-through with them one afternoon - it would be really good in citizenship or something like that as it would teach tolerance, and would allow the children to be exactly sure of how to react to an emergency situation.

If it's something like a fire alarm and you happen to hear it, I'm sure one of the children will alert you.

Overall, I reckon it's something you're going to have to be aware of and plan for, but there's no reason why it shouldn't get in the way of your teaching career. After all - if it was going to get in the way of your career that much there's no way your university would have let you onto a course as competitive as the PGCE!!

Good luck
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berrynmoo
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I cannot believe the replies that I am getting. Thank you all so much for your kind words. You have given me the boost I needed and I am definitely not giving up now.

I have spoken to the Disability Services who are behind me all the way, there are numerous things that they can do. But, the most important point for me was the fact that they told me my disability will not get in the way (still won't give me a dog though, boo!)

Once again, thank you so much.
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hannahchan
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(Original post by berrynmoo)
Hi

I rather think that the title gives it away!

I am 70% deaf and I wear hearing aids. I lipread and I do not know sign language. I also do not know any other deaf people, I have lived in the hearing world all my life and I feel very comfortable here.
I am currently training for my PGCE in primary school.

I know that I am making a mountain out of a molehill but today I was told that the school has some concerns about me in terms of my hearing.
They were very positive and said that my planning and assessment is very good. Their concerns are (and rightly so) that if they left me in the classroom would I hear if there was an emergency? What if I am doing group work, can I work with a group and listen to the rest of the class?

I have explained to them that it is practice and now that I am aware of these things I can train myself to look around more and not focus on one pupil. It is my absolute dream to be a teacher, I don't want to give it up. But, I feel like crawling into my bed and giving up because sometimes I feel like I am fighting to be accepted to no avail.

On the bright side - I was wondering if anyone can think of any strategies that I can use? For example waving a flag if they need help?

I have spoken to the disability services and for the first time in my life - yep - I am going to accept whatever help they give me.

Sorry it is so long. Thank you anyone who answers

wow.. good luck .. I don't have anything to add as I know nothing about teaching but it all seems very interesting.. .. how great you are for following your dream.. no one should discriminate someone for not getting what they want just because they have a little difficulty! ..
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balloon_parade
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You just have to work out your own strategies, things that will work for your situation just like anyone else! Now is the time to try out things and see if they work! If you are working in a group you could have a group table in a certain place where you can see the rest of the classroom from where you are sitting. They could have those traffic lights cups (just normal cups!) on their tables...Green I can get on independently, Yellow I can manage but I need a little support..Red I need support to help me progress. There are lots of little hints and tricks you could implement to your advantage.

Emergency...how close are you to another classroom? Is there no TA in the room/around Could it be linked to something that vibrates? Like those things you have when you go to TGI Fridays? (http://electronics.howstuffworks.com...rant-pager.htm) or a ridiculously bright flashing light. There are ways around it, but as you are on PLACEMENT then it is up to the school as a university link to work around that for you! This isn't something you could implement on your own or something you should be solely responsible for. I think it is pretty unfair for them to hand this to you as a concern...you can only do so much here!

You should 100% carry on! Can you imagine how inspiring you would be to the children? Especially any with any hearing problems!

Keep going and don't let anybody stop you from becoming a teacher! You can do it!! x
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Research99
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Hi,I know this is a long time ago- but I am a researcher in Perth, Western Australia who is working on a project with student teachers who are deaf. I would love to contact you?
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Interrobang
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(Original post by Research99)
Hi,I know this is a long time ago- but I am a researcher in Perth, Western Australia who is working on a project with student teachers who are deaf. I would love to contact you?
They've not been online since 2012 so I think it's unlikely I'm afraid
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