This is because one allows me to still work while I am studying at University. One job, I have had for nearly 4 years and the other I am just completing my university degree for.
I am currently the second in charge (Assistant Coordinator) in a child care service. I do Before and After School care as well as holidays. This job requires me to look after primary aged children (5-12 years old) in the mornings and afternoons. I prepare food for them, develop a program of activities for them, talk/listen to them, play with them and care for them.
My service currently holds up to 40 children most afternoons, some of these children have special needs. I am also in charge of ensuring that my service is safe and clean and that the staff who work with me are interacting with the children and helping out.
I also talk to the parents and help families who have children with special needs or who are having problems.
I got into childcare based on my enjoyment for working with children.
The job that I am working towards and only have 4 months left of university is to become a Primary School Teacher for hearing and (hopefully) Deaf/HOH students. Due to completing certain university requirements, I can now relief teach and have gone out and taught students. I love being a teacher. The reason why I chose to become a teacher is because I wanted to create awareness in the hearing community - especially young children who don't get much exposure to people who are deaf other than their grandparents. My aim as a teacher is not only to educate my students, but to also show them that anything in life is possible. If I can be Deaf and be a teacher to hearing students, then they can work towards their dreams too.
I chose to be a teacher because I was inspired by my grade six teacher who was able to help me enormously in school and because I am an advocate for Deaf youth to achieve their dreams and be proud to be Deaf.
The best part of my job, is when children are keen to learn Auslan and start to use it to communicate. I also love talking and playing with children as they act and think in ways that is very different to adults. They can bring a smile to your face. This still applies to the classroom environment.
My biggest challenge is the adults; I have to prove that I am just as capable as any other person to work with children. Parents and employers and sometimes colleagues often doubt me as they focus just on the fact that I am Deaf. I have to show them that I can still hear and communicate, but that I am also very observant because I have to make up for what I can't hear. Once I have shown my capability, people around me treat me like any other person and feel confident about me.
My next challenge is the children. Children can be quite nasty towards other people who are different. I have found children will laugh and mock how I speak, they will also take advantage of the fact that I can't hear everything they say. However, I make it clear to the children that it is a form of bullying and that I am just like any other person except I wear hearing aids. I also let the children know I have special powers and they have been busted for swearing even at a distance when no other adult would have heard them either. Once I state that I won't tolerate nasty behavior and explain why I speak differently and tell them about my deafness, they are a lot more accepting and willing to learn from you.
My final challenge is my speech, I have to make sure I speak slowly and clearly and make sure I pronounce my words correctly especially when doing a spelling test. However, it is one thing that I have to concentrate on, but it is not a bad thing.
Remember, anything is possible!
Just because you are Deaf, doesn't mean you can't be a teacher or a child care worker!
You have just as much to offer as a hearing teacher. The students will come out of your classroom or child care service a better person who is more accepting of people who are different and will communicate better because we require people to face us and speak clearly for us to understand them.
My final advice is.........BE OPEN ABOUT YOUR DEAFNESS AND BE PROUD! You are so much more likely to be accepted and welcomed if your open than you would if you keep quiet (and I know this from experience).
Let's prove people wrong!
For more information about becoming a:
My name is Stephanie and I am 24 years old. I was born with a Large Vestibular Aqueduct Syndrome (LVAS) which is the cause of my hearing loss. I am severe to profound and used to wear two hearing aids, I now have a hearing aid and implant.
I am proud to be Deaf and mingle with both the hearing and Deaf communities. I can speak, sign, hear and lipread. I am the only one in my family with a Deafness.
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11-Nov-2015 4:51 PM (AEST)