This article appeared as a sidebar to th article: "The Critical Shortage of TODs: What This Means for Our Kids."
Our panelists shared ideas for professionals coping with teacher shortages.
Karen Anderson: “Matching new teachers with experienced D/hh teachers is the key to successful transition, along with targeted professional development and obtaining instructional materials specific to the role to support their work in the new setting. The school district first must recognize that this support is key to good outcomes for students, and then find the mentors and/or funding for this support. Parents continued advocacy may play a very important role in encouraging district leadership to commit the resources needed to support these teachers adequately until they are competent in their new roles. Supporting Success is working to provide options for targeted professional development via The Online Itinerant and making instructional materials for itinerant teachers readily available.”
Rebecca Jackson: “Research on teacher mentoring has demonstrated that mentor programs are correlated with higher teacher satisfaction, commitment, and retention, a positive impact on various aspects of teaching, and higher student scores or gains on student achievement tests.1 Further, having a mentor who is in the same field has been shown to reduce the risk of a teacher leaving at the end of the year by 30%.2 Due to the ‘low incidence’ nature of the field of Deaf Education, it may be challenging for a newly licensed teacher of students who are deaf or hard of hearing to be matched with a mentor who also works with students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Some states and districts are utilizing distance technology to allow for new teachers to be matched with same-subject mentors using video call software, voice calls, email, and even texts to bridge geographic distances.
The Council on Exceptional Children (CEC) created a mentoring program3 that may be helpful to professionals in the field of Deaf Education. In addition to numerous other professional resources, the Division for Communication, Language and Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DCD) within the Council continually updates its D/HH Bibliography,4 which contains citations for over 2,000 journal articles and books on topics related to deaf education.”
Anna Paulson: “Clerc Center: https://www3.gallaudet.edu/clerc-center/our-resources.html, Supporting Success for Children with Hearing Loss including an “Online Itinerant professional development” service, Deaf Itinerant and Teacher of the D/hh Facebook groups such as https://www.facebook.com/groups/
179491645401600/?ref=bookmarks are great tools. We have resources and we have communities of practice. What we need is TIME to learn and a mentor to support the process. Mentorship, colleagues, and learning communities are key to any role change.” ~