WHAT IS AN ITINERANT TEACHER?
An itinerant teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing generally travels around, visiting multiple deaf and hard of hearing students in local neighborhood school programs. The itinerant acts as a link between the school and family of the deaf or hard of hearing child.
BASIC FUNCTIONS OF AN ITINERANT TEACHER
An itinerant teacher fulfills many roles, a few key ones which are listed below:
- Make sure student has appropriate/adequate support services.
- Monitor language development.
- Monitor auditory training and use of auditory equipment.
- Tutoring as needed.
COMMON QUALIFICATIONS OF ITINERANT TEACHERS
A review of job listings for itinerant teachers listed the following typical qualifications for employment. Not all listings required that the applicant have all of these qualifications:
- A master's degree in deaf education.
- Bachelor's degree in education.
- Knowledge of sign language.
- Knowledge of auditory equipment.
- Knowledge of elementary to high school academic curriculum.
PEER SUPPORT FOR ITINERANT TEACHERS
There is a Yahoo group, DHHitinerantteachers, but it appears to be inactive. Maybe an itinerant teacher reading this article can bring the group back to life.
BOOKS FOR ITINERANT TEACHERS
Butte publications offers two books:
- The Art of Itinerant Teaching for Teachers of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing by Mary Deane Smith, 1997, ISBN 1884362257
- The Itinerant Teacher's Handbook, by Carolyn Bullard, not yet published at the time this article was written.
ARTICLES AND WEB RESOURCES ON ITINERANT TEACHING
American Annals of the Deaf has published at least two articles:
- Luckner, J. & Miller, K., Itinerant Teachers: Responsibilities, Perceptions, Preparation, and Students Served, volume 139(2: March), 111-118.
- Yarger, C.C., & Luckner, J.L. (1999). Itinerant Teaching: The Inside Story. volume 144(4), 309-314.
- Role of the Itinerant Teacher for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing - Page with details on the tasks and responsibilities of an intinerant teacher.
- The Itinerant Connection - This website defines itinerant teaching, and has downloadable forms for itinerant teachers.
- Strategies for the Itinerant Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing - this is a Powerpoint presentation of advice and guidance for itinerant teachers.
- Itinerant Tools and Treasures - The Resource Materials and Technology Center at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in St. Augustine suggests resources for itinerant teachers.
An About visitor wrote: They don't have to do it alone, we (Itinerant TODs) are they to support the student AND support the teachers. Ask to have us added to the child's IEP. I realize that not everywhere has enough TODs to go around but the classroom teachers still need to ask for one. These days, there are many students with a wide range of special needs. Classroom teachers need to ask for the help of other professionals with specialized skills in order to provide a first-rate education for all their students. TODs can assist these students in receiving an appropriate education and in enjoying their school days and in helping classroom teachers enjoy having that D/HH student in their classrooms. TODs can also assist the student in learning to advocate for themselves so they don't have negative experiences. Resource room teachers are terrific but they rarely have the background information specific to D/HH students. At our BOCES #1, we have conference days devoted to classroom teachers learning more about D/HH students so the experiences will be mutually beneficial.
Are you an itinerant teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing? How has the experience been? Share your experiences and advice (if you have any) for other itinerant teachers.
Updated October 15, 2006