Lisa Mart is a peripatetic Teacher of the Deaf and a graduate of the PGDip Deaf Education course at Manchester. Here, she talks about the course and how she found her first job as a Teacher of the Deaf with the help of her course leaders…
I was working as a teacher when I started the PGDip Deaf Education course at Manchester. For me, a main concern was being able to complete the course whilst in employment. I was fortunate enough to be supported by the school where I was employed and able to reduce my working days to 3 days a week.
As I had the work commitment, I was concerned about how I would complete my placements. I spoke to course tutors before starting and was so impressed by their response. They reassured me and offered flexibility: we worked together to arrange my placements around my studies and my job, which resulted in me completing a longer placement over two days a week.
My advice to anyone who is thinking about this course but is concerned about timing, distance or working it around their current commitments would be to arrange to meet with course tutors and discuss how the course can work around this, as there are many options which tutors are more than happy to discuss on an individual basis.
Life outside of studying
During my course, I wanted to become as involved as possible, which is something I would advise other students to do. I volunteered to be a student representative and attended meetings with the academic team where I would provide feedback from students, which I know was really useful for tutors in helping them make sure the course met our needs.
I also worked at the annual BATOD conference, running the university stand with a fellow student. This was an extremely valuable experience and I would advise any trainee Teachers of the Deaf to attend such conferences when they get the opportunity. My tutor also suggested that I write an article for BATOD, which was a great opportunity and also put my name and picture out to prospective employers across the country.
Finding my dream job
As I came to the end of the course, I knew I needed to get myself a role as a Teacher of the Deaf – meaning I had to make the tough decision to leave my then role without having secured a new job.
This was a particularly stressful time, but it was a great reassurance to know that my course leaders fully supported me and understood the importance of supporting me into finding a new job. I was introduced to heads of local services and was put ‘on their radar’ early on in the academic year in case any positions did become available.
I am now in a full-time permanent role as a peripatetic Teacher of the Deaf in Halton (where I did one of my placements) and am loving it! I was fully supported through the application and interview process by my course tutors.
Being employed where I had done a placement was an added bonus, as I already knew the team when I started and the way the service works.
Find out more about studying for an MSc or PGDip in Deaf Education.