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Featuring Julie (Porter) Sill '98

 

 

Certification: B.A. Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education

Position: Family Center Coordinator/Parent-Infant Advisor

Employer: Ohio Valley Voices

Location: Loveland, OH

Information on Julie's graduate school experience

Graduate School: University of Texas Health Center, San Antonio

Graduate Program: M.DEHS (Deaf Education & Hearing Science), School of Allied Health

(Profiled: May 2013)

 

♦  How did you connect with this job opportunity?

♦  What attracted you to this position?

♦  What are the most gratifying aspects of your job?

♦  What are some of your challenges in this role?

♦  How did your time at GCC prepare you for the teaching field?

♦  What advice would you give to a current pre-service teacher in order to better prepare for his or her future classroom?

♦  What job search tips would you give to GCC students?

♦  What are the challenges and rewards of teaching or working in another culture?

♦  What are the challenges and rewards of living in another culture or geographical area?

 

How did you connect with this job opportunity?
I searched for a new position when my family moved to Ohio.

What attracted you to this position?
As a parent-infant advisor, it is very rewarding to work with families who have a deaf child.  It feels good to help parents as they begin life’s journey with a child who has a hearing impairment.  Participating in early intervention is exciting because it allows the educator to help the child while they are in the process of growing and developing. 

 

As the Family Center Coordinator, I am able to watch as the babies grow into toddlers as well as help to bridge the educational gap for the parents as their child enters the toddler classroom.  Supervising the teachers and speech and language pathologists is exciting because I get to see language acquisition in action.  And most of all, it is exciting to see a profoundly deaf child learn to talk and know that you have helped to create the environment and real-life learning experiences necessary for them to do so.

What are the most gratifying aspects of your job?
The most gratifying aspects of my job are seeing how access to sound can be a life-changing event for a deaf child.  Watching a baby hear his/her parents’ voice for the first time is an amazing feeling.  Additionally, it is incredible to watch as such young children beat the odds of deafness by learning how to talk, despite the many challenges that they face.


What are some of your challenges in this role?
The biggest challenge as a parent-infant advisor is to always remember to empower the parents so that they can be their child’s life-long advocate.  It might seem easier to help them make decisions in the short run, but it will not help them in the end if they rely on you too much.  As you might imagine, deafness comes with many emotions for new parents.  It is my job to meet them where they are and give them the information that they need so that they can make important decisions regarding their child’s future. 

 

The biggest challenge of being the family center coordinator has been facilitating the rapid growth of our program.  Because deaf education is a relatively small field, it can sometimes be difficult to find qualified staff members who share our passion for helping deaf children learn to talk.


How did your time at GCC prepare you for this position?
At GCC, I had many educational field opportunities as well as four separate student teaching assignments.
  These experiences as well as the excellent mentorship from my professors helped me to form my educational philosophy and better understand the needs of a developing child.   Additionally, my professors encouraged me to follow my passion of helping others by fostering an environment where success was found in the learning process.


What advice would you give to a current pre-service teacher in order to better prepare for his or her future classroom?
You are never too old to learn something new.
  Follow what you are passionate about and learn from your mistakes.  Use your life experiences to form the educational path that is a good fit for you.  Take a chance on smaller leadership roles along the way.  These experiences will prepare you for future promotions and job opportunities.


What job search tips would you give to GCC students?
Use a broad search criteria when looking for jobs online.
  Be open to moving to a new place so that you can gain valuable experience for the future.  Never underestimate the power of a good reference.

 

What are the challenges and rewards of teaching or working in another culture?

While I have always worked in the United States, I have taught in three different states and four different schools.  Each area of the country has aspects that are unique to that area.  Learning more about different areas of the country and the people that live there can give you a broad perspective of the world.  Seeing the "insides" of different cultures can also give you a better understanding of differences and give you a more accepting attitude on life. 

 

What are the challenges and rewards of living in another culture or geographical area?

Moving around has taught me to appreciate the differences in people and to accept people for who they are.  In fact, as different as people can be, there are also many similarities among them.  The more I move around, I have seen that people are still people no matter where they live.  Differences may grow on you and give you a better understanding of who someone is over time.


                                      

More information about Julie's graduate school experience

 

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