Please tell us a bit about yourself, where you are from, your background etc?
I live in Solihull and have always been in the Midlands. I work in a school for deaf children and have been a teacher for 14 years. I am married and have 3 children, one of which is also at university (Aberyswyth). I love running and take part in lots of marathons, ultra marathons and obstacle races. In my spare time I volunteer for the National Deaf Children’s Society. I am also a school governor. I like to part of the local community and try to give some thing back to them. I already have a masters in Education, but I love to study and learn new skills.
What made you want to apply to your course and to Leeds?
Working in a school for Deaf children you are required to gain the Teacher of the deaf qualification to support the needs of the children, this course is only run in a select few universities. As my head teacher is a mentor on the Leeds course she highly recommends it and most people I have spoken to prefer the Leeds course to else where.
What is it that makes you passionate about your area of study?
I feel very lucky to work with deaf children however sometimes I feel I let them down because I don’t know things about their needs and so I can’t support them. Everything I am learning on the course has a direct link to my work and impacts what I do. Therefore, I get excited when I read articles which make me reflect on my practise and helps me improve the things I do.
What do you think of your course so far – what aspects of the course have you enjoyed the most or are looking forward to the most?
The course is amazing; it is so well organised and students are so well supported. The study days and residentials set up each module and then all the readings and tasks link to the module assignment. I have particularly enjoyed learning about audiology as this was all new to me. Being able to do things practically and see things first hand e.g. what the cochlear implant looks like which goes inside the child’s head was fascinating. It is wonderful to meet all the other students as we can learn from each other’s experiences.
What would you say about the learning facilities in the School and at the University in general?
When having lectures at the University it is fantastic how people’s needs are met, being on a deaf course there are several students with hearing impairments so at every study day there have been interpreters and note takers and audio aids. The rooms are always clean and spacious.
How do you find the student support in the School?
I have only really had contact with my tutors but they are a great support. They are always at the end of an email happy to help with any queries or worries.
What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?
I would highly recommend the course. It gives a balanced view on all aspects of deaf education and facilitates students’ abilities to learn for themselves and develop their confidence to then help parents of deaf children.
What do you plan to do once you’ve finished your course? What are you career aspirations?
I will finish the teacher of the deaf qualification and continue to do the masters. This qualification will then help me stay in deaf education, I may have a go at being a peripatetic teacher of the deaf now I have more understanding of the role.