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Teacher of the deaf

What is the job you love?

I love my job working for the NSW Department of Education and Communities as an Itinerant Support Teacher, Hearing. I find it very rewarding to work with students with a hearing loss and their families.

I would like to highlight also that prior to this I worked as a teacher on a mainstream composite 2/3 class for 2 years and in a Support Unit (I.O.) class for 2 years prior to that. I have extremely fond memories of my experiences at both of these settings and I feel very lucky to have worked in such supportive work environments throughout my teaching career.

How did you get into this line of work?

During high school I decided to take part in work experience at a local primary school. I wasn't sure if it was the job for me, but thought I'd see what it was like. To my surprise, I absolutely loved it, and didn't want to leave at the end of my week there. I later searched for the UAI score I need to get into the Bachelor of Education, Primary and made that my goal for the remaining years I had left at high school.

After completing my Bachelor of Education, Primary degree at the University of Western Sydney (Bankstown Campus) I worked at [primary school] casually and was soon after asked if I would consider working in their special education unit as a support class teacher working with students in the I.O. class. I accepted and continued working there as a temporary teacher for approximately 2 years.

I then began applying for permanent, mainstream teaching positions. After many applications and a few interviews I was successful in my application for a classroom teacher position at [primary school]. I taught a mainstream composite 2/3 class there for approximately 2 years. It was a wonderful time in my life.

In 2008, I was ready for another challenge and originally was thinking of retraining as a school counsellor. As I was reading about retraining opportunities with the Department of Education I came across the retraining program to become a 'Teacher of Deaf and Hearing Impaired Students.' I couldn't believe my eyes, I thought, "What could be more perfect?!"

I submitted my application and was selected for interview. My Principal at [primary school] was very supportive and gave me an excellent reference. In 2009, I completed my Masters of Education, with specialisation with a sensory disability at The RIDBC Renwick Centre at North Rocks, who have an affiliation with the University of Newcastle. It was a wonderful year of study, learning and development of new friendships. In 2010, I embarked on my career as a Teacher of Deaf and Hearing Impaired students and now work with an IST-H team in Sydney.

What is the best part about your job?

My favourite aspect of my chosen profession is that no two days are ever the same. I am also exceptionally lucky to work with an amazing team of experienced, sensitive and dedicated teachers. It's so wonderful being able to look forward to coming to work every day.

I feel like I am making a real difference to the lives of the students I work with and their families. I also feel like I can help mainstream teachers understand in some way, what its like to have a hearing impairment, because it is sometimes difficult for young children to explain and express to others what it's like to have a hearing impairment.

What are some of the challenges of your job?

I think the major challenge is isolation. As an itinerant teacher, you are continually driving from place to place and sometimes feel very alone.

What advice would you give a deaf or hearing impaired person who is looking for a career like yours?

I would say that anything is possible! Study hard, believe in yourself and don't be afraid to ask for help!


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11-Nov-2015 4:55 PM (AEST)