Tag Archives: High School

Oklahoma Teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing conference

Hello readers!

I know we have not updated in a while – the semester has become incredibly busy! I am just posting to let everyone know of a great conference opportunity this weekend, which only has 9 seats still available. University of Tulsa and the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma have partnered to put on the Oklahoma Teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing conference (OTDHH) all day this Saturday in Chickasha, Oklahoma. The conference begins at 8 am at USAO’s campus and concludes at 3:30, and registration is only $30.

The presenters are Dr. Laurene Simms and Susanne Scott of Gallaudet University and the Clerc Center. They are experts in bilingual education using both spoken English and American Sign Language in classrooms that serve Deaf and Hard of Hearing students.

This is a great opportunity for Oklahoma educators who work with Deaf and Hard of Hearing students to hear from nationally renowned experts in Deaf Education on how to implement bilingual and bimodal teaching strategies in the Deaf Education classroom! We hope to see many of you there!


Learn About TU: Student Teaching!

Hello readers! We at TU are excited to be starting a new semester. We hope everyone is feeling refreshed after winter break! There are a lot of upcoming events we are excited about – the continuation of our reading clinic in February, the Association of College Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ACE-DHH) conference in St. Louis, and the International Reading Association (IRA) conference, where professor Jessica Scott will become the official president for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Special Interest Group, just to name a few! You will be sure to hear about them in the coming months.

But in the interest of getting prepared for a new semester, here is another installment of Learn About TU! Because we have three seniors doing their student teaching at the moment, let’s take a few minutes to learn about the student teaching experience.

Deaf Education majors graduate with the potential to earn an N-12 teaching certificate in the state of Oklahoma. Because of this wide range of grade levels, student teaching is typically divided into two experiences, one lasting 7 weeks and the other lasting 8 weeks.

For one placement, we strongly encourage students to stay at the Kansas School for the Deaf, an amazing bilingual school only four hours from TU’s campus. Students are typically placed in either elementary, middle, or high school. Our student teachers also get to stay in the KSD dorms, which gives them an amazing opportunity to interact with students outside of the classroom and improve their ASL skills. As part of the agreement for staying in the dorms, student teachers will also typically work at an after school program – this may include academic tutoring, coaching, supervising clubs, and so forth. One of the Deaf Education professors will visit KSD campus towards the end of the internship to observe lessons and give feedback.

The second placement is typically within the Tulsa Public Schools, either in a self-contained elementary, middle or high school classroom, or placement with an itinerant teacher.

Students completing their student teaching get a wide array of invaluable experiences that will prepare them for teaching, including planning and teaching units and lessons, assessing students, implementing behavior management plans, observing experienced teachers at work, observing Individualized Education Plan meetings, coaching or sponsoring clubs, attending faculty workshops and development opportunities, and much more! All of our student teachers are in their second semester of their senior year.

If you have any questions about the student teaching experience, or about the Deaf Education program in general, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our faculty!

Strategic Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI)

Last night (Monday, September 8, 2014), we at University of Tulsa were lucky enough to have Dr. Kim Wolbers, a professor in Deaf Education from University of Tennessee, join us for a talk on her program – the Strategic Interactive Writing Program (SIWI). Not only did our Deaf Education students join us for this unique opportunity, but local teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing from K-12 schools and the local community college also were able to come by.

Dr. Wolbers presents about SIWI.

Dr. Wolber’s program is a unique one, which focuses on language development in both ASL and English (when it is implemented in signing schools) and encourages students to use resources from their stronger language to help inform their comprehension and expressive abilities in their developing language. During her presentation, she emphasized the importance of not asking leading questions as this risks misunderstanding of students – instead, as they try to describe their experiences, ask neutral questions that will bring out a mutual understanding of what really happened between the teacher and the student.  Through this program, students first have the opportunity to share what they know and have experienced through signing (if the child uses sign language), and then with the support of the teacher transfer this understanding into conventional English. Although the program focuses on upper elementary students and older, she has seen it in action with children as young as pre-kindergarten age.

Dr. Wolbers is a world class researcher and professor. All of us at TU are so grateful that she was able to share some of her time with us! We can’t wait to see more of this type of instruction in action!


Guest Blogger, Erin Hoefer

Erin Hoefer is a junior Deaf Education major at TU who recently completed her second practicum experience. Read all about her experience teaching about audiograms below:

bulletin boardWhen young people think of entering the teaching profession, they tend to think of the most basic educational needs that are out there right now. “I’ll teach reading!” “I’ll teach math!” Society tends to agree with them, seeing teachers as someone that just gives basic knowledge. What is not realized is the amount of self-advocacy work that goes into the education profession, and how this can affect students and teachers for quite some time after the lesson has ended.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in Deaf Education. I am currently finishing my second practicum at Edison Prepatory School, in a high school Deaf Education classroom. During this time, I have been able to observe teaching practices, learn about testing procedures and get to know the students that make up our classes. I have also had the wonderful opportunity to being planning lessons and teaching this group for 1st hour biology. My first lesson was over parts and lobes of the brain, and how it related to them. It was a good lesson, not my finest, but I realized I was starting to get comfortable in my teaching style with older kids.

I realized what was needed for this group of 15-17 year old young men and women. They needed to understand their role in Deaf Education, gain an understanding of their own hearing loss and how it will affect them later and how to advocate for themselves. I chose to create a lesson based on their own personal audiograms. I made a PowerPoint presentation regarding frequency, decibel levels, the levels of hearing loss ranging from mild to profound and other pertinent information. I then asked them to look at their own audiograms and tell me what their hearing loss levels were.   The room was quiet for a moment while everyone looked from the PowerPoint to the numbers on the paper….

…..and the light bulbs started going off. “I have a severe loss?? I thought it was just mild! But I can hear a little without my aids….” The questions started flooding in. What can I hear without my aids? I can hear a dog bark but not water dripping. I can hear the letter A but not the letter S in speech.   Can I have an interpreter if I go to college? Will I need to tell my future boss about this?” The level of understanding that I was seeing was phenomenal.

My final assessment was the class bulletin board that they created to explain to me what an audiogram is and what it measures. I was absolutely thrilled when they came through with a wonderfully completed project that they fully understood.

People assume that anyone with a disability or different ability knows how to make their needs known and understand everything about their personal circumstances. The community at large takes understanding hearing for granted. However, for a Deaf Educator, nothing is assumed and everything must be explicitly taught. This includes learning how to advocate for one’s own hearing loss. I plan to keep this lesson for the future in my own classroom, and can’t wait to teach it again.