Those years truly defined my character. I resolved to prevent other deaf children from experiencing similar frustrations in communication and learning. Instead, I determined to provide them with appropriate and challenging academic instruction in their native sign language.
Thankfully, I was blessed to meet a wonderful sign language teacher, mentor and counselor at the University of Tulsa where I received therapy for speech, lip-reading and sign language instruction. My sign language teacher, Jack Foreman, inspired and encouraged me to use my life experiences to help future deaf children have a better educational experience. I made the decision to become a teacher and entered the University of Tulsa Deaf Education program. I remain on fire with enthusiasm for teaching deaf children and have no doubt they can overcome the barriers of deafness and be successful in life. I am presently a teacher of 4th and 5th grade deaf students for the Broken Arrow Public School system in suburban Tulsa, OK.
While I had the benefit of hearing language for 13 years, I understand that many of my students face the challenge of mastering a language they have never heard. To accomplish this, I embrace the strategies I learned in college to create a totally accessible visual environment for learning. Language is best learned through meaningful and natural experiences, supported by instruction in the childs native sign language.