One of my accomplishments as a teacher was learning sign language and being nominated by Oak Hill School to represent the school at the American School for the Deaf convention that was held in Cromwell, CT in January 2015. Learning sign language was critical to the instruction my students received because I had several students who were deaf or hard of hearing. I also had students with communication disorders. These students used Proxtalkers, Proloquo2go, or other communication programs, in addition to American Sign Language to communicate their wants and needs throughout the school day. Learning sign language and using it throughout the day with my students helped the students that I had that were deaf and hard of hearing because they were able to see the communication that was going on all day. When I used American Sign Language to help deliver instruction that was aligned to Common Core State Standards, students learned more and participated more in their own educational programs. When students saw me using ASL to communicate with them, they used ASL to communicate with me. Communication is imperative to academic success for students. Students with communication disorders require a more comprehensive approach to communication to allow them to be successful. When I used ASL, verbal language, pictures, in combination with my students' communication devices to facilitate effective communication in my classroom, my students achieved higher levels of academic success and mastered more of the goals and objectives on their IEPs.
University of CT - BS, Elementary and Special Education
University of CT - MA, Special Education
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is that all children can and will learn if they are given the right tools and taught in ways that highlight their abilities instead of their shortcomings. When teachers and tutors send students the message that they can achieve and teach students in research-based ways that are meaningful for the students, students achieve more. Teachers also need to listen to family members so that they can learn valuable insights about the student.