Tag Archives: Teacher

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: Practicum Experiences

This post will be the first in a series of installments that we will hope will be helpful to our readers out there who are current or future students who want to learn more about particular aspects of our Deaf Education program here at University of Tulsa. Today we will start with an invaluable experience: Practicum,

All schools of education require students to complete a certain number of practicum hours in order to graduate. We are certainly no exception, although the way the Deaf Ed program does practicum is a little unique.

Starting in their junior year, students will be engaged in three different practicum courses, one per semester. One of those will be in an elementary setting, another will be in a secondary setting, and the third may vary from person to person, depending on their interests. Most (but not all!) of our practicum students are placed in the Tulsa Public School District, in one of the public schools that has a Deaf Ed program. As a practicum student, you will observe and support the teacher doing lessons, but also create your own bulletin board (or other visual display), teach your own lesson, and possibly tutor a student.

But that’s not all! In our program we feel that teachers of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing need to really get to know the Deaf Community – so every practicum experience has Deaf Community experience built in! We hope this will support our students’ understanding of ASL, as well as of Deaf culture before they enter the classroom as teachers.

Many of our students visit Kansas School for the Deaf, an amazing residential school, for a two week intensive practicum after the end of junior year as their third practicum site. But other students take on local practicums with itinerant teachers, early intervention programs, or ASL teachers. It is our goal that all these experiences will give our students all the skills they need to be successful teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the future!

New school year!

Hello readers!
We hope that you all had a fabulous and relaxing summer and are ready to start a new school year! We at the Deaf Education program at University of Tulsa had a wonderful and productive summer, and are ready to hit the ground running for the new school year. We just wanted to share some updates with all of you!

Dr. Baker spent the summer giving trainings at schools for the deaf on language development and how to use the new tool she developed with colleagues at Gallaudet University and Lamar University. Her travels brought her to Kansas and to Pennsylvania.

Jessica Scott spent most of her time close to home working on various projects in Tulsa, including planning a 5K race to benefit the Total Source for Hearing-loss and Access. She also traveled out of state to collect data for her dissertation!

This year we are looking forward to a number of things:

1. Meeting new Deaf Education students, of course!

2. Learning whether we have received the grant for our reading clinic, and if so, getting that up and running again

3. Attending the Association of College Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ACEDHH) in nearby St. Louis

4. Jessica returning again to St. Louis for the International Reading Association conference to present her doctoral research and become chair of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Special Interest Group.

5. Seeing several of our amazing Deaf Education majors graduating this spring and entering the field!

6. Cooler weather! (Last on the list, but it is pretty hot and will be nice to get some more bearable weather!!)

What are you looking forward to most for this academic year? Are there any upcoming events that we should also be excited about that we missed? We want to hear from you!

The Gift of Reading (or TU’s First Deaf Ed Reading Clinic)

Below read a guest blog post from the parent of one of the children who participated in the first ever TU Free Reading Clinic for DHH Students!

When Anna was selected for TU’s first Deaf Ed Reading Clinic, my initial reaction was relief. As the mother of a Deaf+ child, I am constantly searching for help:  help with language, help with schooling, help with her grades. All of that would improve if her reading skills improved, and here was a FREE program!photo 3[1]

As a girl who has spent several days of every week of her life in some sort of therapy, Anna may not have been excited about her first session … but that quickly changed when she realized that it was all about books. And these are fabulous books – colorful books, funny books, talkative books, even one with absolutely no words! Image

The 10-week clinic included evaluations in the first and last sessions to not only assess the effectiveness of the program, but also to help the tutors plan their lessons. While every session including reading, there was also writing, sentence building, grammar lessons on ASL vs. English, some doll play once our tutor learned about Anna’s obsession with all things Barbie, and an Easter egg huntImage with fun sentences hidden inside each egg. They didn’t just sit at desks; they stood, they taped words to walls, they played, and they laughed, oh yes, they most definitely laughed.

Thank you, Erin Hoefer, for planning engaging activities and lessons, and for building that all-so-important rapport with my child. Thank you, Jessica Scott, for choosing excellent books that are enjoyable and have a learning purpose built into each one, and for supervising these terrific students. But mostly, thank you for creating this amazing program and for writing a grant which will hopefully ensure its continuance next year. Anna is more excited about reading than ever, and when the grant gets approved, we’ll be waiting right outside the Chapman Center.


2013-2014 Highlights

It’s hard to believe, but we have reached the end of the 2013/2014 academic year – today was the last official day of classes here at University of Tulsa. We had a really incredible year! Let’s recap.

-We started off the year with the wonderful news that TU’s Deaf Education program received a grant to fund our juniors and seniors for up to 50% of their tuition! Thanks to the hard work of Dr. Sharon Baker writing this grant.

-The beginning of this year also saw the beginning of Jessica Scott’s joining the Deaf Education faculty!

-As part of her literacy course, Jessica set up a free reading clinic for Deaf and hard of hearing students in the Tulsa area – which went amazingly well! Thanks to generous individual donors and The Frugal Bookworm we got some excellent children’s and adolescent books to start off our collection. Thanks so much to the AMAZING undergraduate students enrolled in the Literacy course who spent an hour every week working with a struggling Deaf or hard of hearing reader!

-Dr. Baker and Jessica Scott had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. and stay on Gallaudet University campus for the Association of College Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ACEDHH) conference, where we heard from politicians, university professors and researchers about the latest theory and research in teaching Deaf students!

-Dr. Baker had a number of very exciting guests in her Deaf History and Culture course, including Laurent Clerc’s great great granddaughter, who works at Oklahoma School for the Deaf, Dr. Peter Crume, who does research on Deaf and hard of hearing students in Kenya, and Marie Guard, a local preschool teacher who is deaf and recently chose to have cochlear implants.Image Image


Wow! What a year – we feel truly lucky to have the opportunities that we do. Some things to look forward to:

-Jessica Scott is working on a grant to expand the reading clinic to an academic year, where tutors trained in the spring course will be paid to tutor students in the fall. The grant will also give us access to better assessments, more materials and more books!

-The OKRID conference will be on TU campus this summer! Anyone in the area interested in ASL interpreting or Deaf Education should register and join us!

-The TU faculty plan to start some collaborations with the Deaf Education faculty at USAO in Chickasha, OK – we will keep you updated as those develop next year!

Readers – what new developments are you most excited about? What other ideas do you have for our program? We’d love to hear from you!

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.

Kathy Buckley

Hello, my name is Kadan Brady. I’m a junior at the University of Tulsa and I’m minoring in Deaf Education. I’m new to the Deaf Community and I‘m enjoying every minute of it. I’m taking Sharon Baker’s Deaf History and Culture course, which is why I’m sharing my experience with you guys, and might I add it’s truly an honor. It seemed to be just another class assignment – Professor Baker assigned everyone in the class a famous Deaf person, and I received Kathy Buckley. When I was first assigned her name and was told she was a Deaf comedienne I thought to myself, “this should be fun,” but little did I know it would be life changing. I did my research on Kathy Buckley and I highly recommend those of you who don’t know her to look her up and hear her story. You can also find a lot of her videos on YouTube. Not only is she a five-time American Comedy Award Nominee as Best Stand-Up Female Comedienne, she is also an actress, writer, producer, author, humanitarian, and a motivational speaker.

As I was working on my presentation over Kathy Buckley for my class presentation I decided to e-mail her and just tell her how much of an inspiration she was to me, and how much I greatly appreciate her story and triumph through life. Kathy Buckley called my cell phone within the next hour. I was in class and was unable to answer my phone, but she left me the most thoughtful voicemail. It begins with ,“Hi Kadan, this is Kathy Buckley calling. I just wanted to thank you for the absolutely lovely email, I wish I could have been there with you. I hope you pass, I hope you didn’t flunk on me. Anyway ,it’s Kathy Buckley just calling to say thank you and wishing you nothing but the best in life, may you move forward and let nothing step in your way. God be with you honey, thank you again. Bye-bye.” This was by far one of the most memorable events that has ever taken place in my life, and through this experience Kathy Buckley has just opened my eyes to how grateful we should be for this life we live. I’m honored to have been able to research and hear from Kathy Buckley and share this amazing experience.