Imagine sitting in a classroom and not being able to hear what the teacher is saying. In Mrs. Herman’s class at Valeska Hinton Preschool, this is the reality her students face every day.
This week’s One Class at a Time winner has committed her career to making sure deaf children have the same quality of education as any other child.
Every deaf person is different. Every deaf person has their own way of life. And they can do whatever they set their mind to,” said Molly Herman.
These students appear to be your typical preschoolers. In their classroom learning their alphabet, playing games, and making friends. But these students in Mrs. Herman’s class have a unique classroom experience.
After learning sign language in high school to communicate with her friend, Herman decided to make deaf education her life’s work.
“I always love teaching people about working with deaf children and children with hearing loss, because not a lot of people know about that,” she said.
And because all her students are deaf or profoundly hard of hearing, the classroom works with medical technology. She says these technologies are essential in helping her students learn and communicate.
But Mrs. Herman’s first priority is for her students to know they are capable of anything anyone else can do.
“I just feel like they can influence the world and spread love and joy. I just want them to know that they are so special and they can accomplish anything they want to,” she said. “Their hearing loss does not have to be a roadblock in their life. I’ve seen so many deaf adults so many students overcome so much to accomplish their dreams.”
Mrs. Herman says she plans to use the grant money to purchase more microphones that connect to the student’s implants or hearing aids.
She says that this ‘assistive technology’ gives the students a more focused hearing ability in the classroom.