Now that you are a teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing, where can you go for help so you can be the best teacher possible? Fortunately, there are organizations and conferences, educational institutions, websites, publications, and books available to help you. And, of course, you can always post a question on the About.com deafness forum.
The Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center has training workshops. Educators from the Clerc Center will come to your own area to hold an educational workshop. Topics include topics such as literacy and educational technology. More information is on the Clerc Center training workshop page. Distance learning courses are also offered by the Clerc Center. Topics of distance learning courses include working with dialogue journals.
The Clerc Center also publishes Odyssey magazine, which is aimed at both teachers and famillies. Odyssey topics have ranged from Deaf ESL students to strategies for working with hard of hearing students. Odyssey can be downloaded free from the Clerc Center website.
Another publication that can also be read online (current issues require a subscription), is the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education. The Journal is more scholarly than Odyssey. Authors write on topics such as technology-enhanced shared reading with deaf and hard of hearing children, which appeared in the Winter 2010 issue.
Finally, there is the granddaddy of all deaf educational publications - the American Annals of the Deaf. Volumes can be read on line through Project MUSE, a subscription-based website. Some libraries also subscribe to American Annals of the Deaf.
One website that has been around a long time to help teachers of the deaf is DeafEd.Net. DeafEd.Net is totally focused on deaf educators, offering resources for them. These resources include things such as best practices for literacy, math and science, and even master teacher problem/solution documents. The site also carries job listings for teachers of the deaf.
Organizations and Conferences
The International Congress on the Education of the Deaf (ICED) is not an organization but like the name implies, a conference. The ICED meets every five years (since 1878) and is an international gathering of deaf educators. Although they do not have a stand-alone website, the ICED does publish their proceedings.
In the United States, the organization for teachers of the deaf is the Convention of American Instructors of the Deaf (CAID). CAID is divided into regions, holds conferences, and has special interest groups. These special interest groups cover topics such as science and technology, or math.
Another educational organization is the Association of College Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ACEDHH). (Some teachers of the deaf work in colleges as instructors of deaf and hard of hearing students.) ACEDHH holds conferences, and offers free newsletters online.
In addition, a few states also have their own associations for teaches of the deaf. For example, Georgia has the Georgia Teachers of the Deaf. California has the California Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
The Clerc Center's Info to Go information clearinghouse offers a downloadable free PDF, We are Equal Partners: Recommended Practices for Involving Families in Their Child's Educational Program. This document summarizes the results of a forum on involving families in deaf children's education.
The Described and Captioned Media Program has free loan (and downloadable) educational material that is not available on DVD. Registration is required. DCMP has archived monthly newsletters, and a collection of articles, some of which have been written by teachers.
Last but not least, there are plenty of books aimed at teachers of the deaf. A few recently published titles:
- Educating Deaf Students: From Research to Practice. Marc Marschark, Harry Lang, John Albertini. Oxford University Press, 2006.
- Educating the Deaf: Psychology, Principles, and Practices. Donald Moores. Wadsworth Publishing, 2000.
- Teaching Deaf and Second-Language Students To Be Better Writers. Sue Livingston. Gallaudet University Press, 2010.
Getting a deaf education degree is only the first step for a teacher of the deaf. Teachers of the deaf need to stay on top of current trends and technology. Plus teachers of the deaf have to be prepared to meet the needs of a diverse deaf student population. The above cited resources can help a teacher of the deaf be the best possible teacher there is.