Hello, I have the honor of teaching American Sign Language Level 1-4. ASL is a beautiful language and a super fun course. Yes, it is challenging, but together we'll enjoy learning about this amazing language and culture together. I would like to provide you some insight into my background and my passion for the Deaf community and American Sign Language as a whole.
My Grandmother always said, "I would work with my hands" because as a child my hands were always busy. My introduction to the Deaf community began with a small pamphlet with the alphabet in American Sign Language (ASL) printed inside. That pamphlet began my journey; I studied and studied those hand signs. I actually used it to help me with my weekly spelling words. I will never forget when those hand signs became real to me; I meet a Deaf girl my age at the park when I was in the fourth grade. I saw her using Sign Language; this was my chance to show what I’d been studying. Of course she out Signed me, but I could communicate with her. Her mother was so happy that a hearing child could communicate with her Deaf daughter and understand her. Not out of force but, out of want! I never forgot the experience, I don’t remember the girl’s name but, she was instrumental in me discovering my ASL Journey. I studied ASL in high school and after intense research and love of the language I decided to become an Educator. It became my personal journey to spread the knowledge of ASL to the hearing community.
My desire to serve the Deaf community directed my path to Collin County Community College CCCCD, where l earned two associate degrees. Earning my first degree an Associate of Arts degree with an emphasis in ASL (Deaf Education) and an Associate of Arts and Science degree in Education. With that I was with fueled for more and by my heart’s desire to learn more. I couldn’t stop there; I transferred to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR). I was awarded the Office of Special Education Program OSEP grant for education which is awarded to a select few. The OSEP grant funded my Bachelor degree. It is my goal and my heart’s desire to be involved in the Deaf community. While providing tutoring to a young deaf child, the parent of the child asked me a question that I didn’t fully understand. He asked me if, “I’d be active or passive in the community?” As an ASL II student I had no clue how to answer. I never forgot that moment; however now that I’ve grown professionally and educationally, and experienced the Deaf culture I can accurately answer his question, “Active Member!”
I had a heavy involvement with on campus activities sponsored by Sigma Lambda Kappa, the American Sign Language Club. I am an active member of the Little Rock Black Deaf Association LRBDA, and with Arkansas Deaf Blind Community organization of which I volunteered as a Support Service Provider SSP at their annual Deaf Blind camps for two years. I have given countless hours supporting the Deaf community in numerous ways by volunteering, tutoring, and mentoring young girls at the Arkansas School for the Deaf (ASD). My experiences at ASD lead to an even greater challenge, a position at Centers for Youth and Families in a new program developed on the ASD campus called P.R.I.D.E. Positive Reinforcement Intervention for Deaf Education where I worked with emotionally challenged Deaf children.
I am determined to ensure the voices of these children are heard and their educational, social and emotional needs are addressed. Later, I was awarded a highly competitive internship at the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths & Adults (HKNC) in New York summer 2009. College was over and I was so inspired by all of the wonderful teachers I had become to know and love, I decided my Next steps would be in the direction of Education. I decided I want to teach! I huge change from everything I had been working towards. In 2009 I became a teacher and taught for two years before being offered to work for one of the Major Cruise lines. I took two years off from teaching to travel the world. I spent a full two years in my target language as a full time traveling Cruise-line Interpreter. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity... I firmly believe in the statement, “that to whom much is given, much is expected.” Of the goals I’ve set for myself such as traveling earning a Master’s degree is next on my list.
This year will be my seventh year teaching and 15 year in the ASL field. I dream of sharing my journey inside of the Deaf community as a lecturer, and author, and future college professor. I am over joyed to add Prosper ISD to that prestigious list that I have associated myself with. Please do not hesitate to call or email about any concerns you may have.
"There are no stupid questions; only UN-asked question!" Erika M. Trammell My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. ~Maya Angelou