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ERIC Number: EJ1031197
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Reference Count: 6
High Expectations Require Supporting New Teachers, Educating the School Community
MacGlaughlin, Heidi M.; Mertens, Donna M.
Odyssey: New Directions in Deaf Education, v15 p46-49 2014
This article discusses the experience of recent graduates' part of a study from the master's program at Gallaudet University. New teachers for deaf students with disabilities report they simply were not prepared for the low expectations communicated by school principals or the exclusionary practices faced in the school community. They noted teacher education programs do not present sufficient information for teachers about students with disabilities or for special education teachers about strategies to work effectively with deaf students. Teacher education programs do not prepare those who will teach these students for the reality of the lack of understanding and indifference that they will face from their educator peers. They asked-How can young teachers be expected to maintain strong expectations for their students when they find their classes, their work, and their professional selves being constantly diminished and devalued? The teachers in the study offered some corrective suggestions: (1) that teacher education programs begin addressing the environment that soon-to-graduate teachers will face and teach these new graduates advocacy skills, (2) that inter-school socializing and participation in athletics might be venues in which deaf students and students with disabilities could be included, (3) mentoring-pairing new teachers one-on-one with experienced teachers to receive support and perhaps meaningfully assistance with problems, including negative perceptions of other teachers, and (4) university programs setting-up and providing access to chat rooms or discussion boards where new teachers have access to other new teachers, more experienced teachers, and university faculty. Raising expectations for deaf students, especially those with a disability, is a multi-faceted challenge. Giving teachers the tools they need to advocate for themselves and for their students within their school communities will promote success.
Descriptors: Expectation, Special Education Teachers, Teacher Education Programs, Career Readiness, Advocacy, Educational Resources, Beginning Teachers, Teacher Collaboration, Inclusion, Deafness, Hearing Impairments, Accessibility (for Disabled), Educational Strategies, Educational Practices, Mentors, Social Networks, Work Environment
Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center. Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Avenue NE, KS 3600, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-526-9105; Tel: 202-651-5340; Fax: 202-651-5708; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://clerccenter.gallaudet.edu
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Higher Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A