Maresha Love, St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf

My family has a distant relative who is deaf, and as a child I remember our family not being able to communicate with him. They were always searching for paper and pen with which to write and communicate. Later, while attending Missouri State University and majoring in Communication Disorders with an emphasis in Speech Language Pathology, I was required to take a sign language course. I was the only non deaf education major in my sign language class and this experience began my interest in Deaf Education. After graduating from MSU, I took a year off to do more research regarding my career path and eventually enrolled in Fontbonne University in St. Louis where I completed a second Bachelor’s degree in Deaf Education.

I am currently in my second year of teaching at St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf-Kansas City. Our school uses the auditory oral approach to deaf education. One of our main goals is for our students to learn speech and language. I teach Kindergarten and First grade curriculum. I love getting to know all the students. The best reward is at the end of the school year having parents thank me for being their child’s teacher and giving me praise for the gains their child has made.

As an African-American, I feel as though my job is important. Some of our students are not always around diverse people. I hope that I am providing students with a chance to learn about different cultures and nationalities. Last year I had a student ask me why my skin is brown. This led to a great conversational experience. I answered her questions and she asked more. Not only did she learn more about diversity, but also it gave her more confidence in her conversational skills.



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