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Welcome! As an itinerant teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing working with students who use a listening and spoken language approach, I spend a great deal of time on the road. I am fortunate to have a home base at Clarke Mainstream Services in Northampton, MA, where I am able to collaborate with colleagues, brainstorm solutions to challenging situations, discuss all aspects of the job, and seek advice or guidance. I’ve come to realize that not all professionals have these same regularly scheduled opportunities. At conferences, itinerant teachers often gravitate towards each other. We seem to be able to connect even in the largest of crowded exhibit halls, drawn together for the briefest of conversations and a momentary, “Hey! What do you do when…” exchange. The purpose of this blog is to bring itinerants together for longer than just that brief weekend conference. Here, we will build a community of itinerants — a “home base” for those of us who spend our days on the road traveling between schools.

Have a question or comment for Heather? Drop us a line.

Hear Me Out

The Hear Me Out blog provides unique resources for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. It's a forum for itinerant teachers of the deaf to share their experiences as they grow as professionals! It is produced by Clarke's Mainstream Services team as part of our mission to support children with hearing loss and the professionals who serve them.

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About the Hear Me Out Blog

Itinerant teachers of the deaf (TOD) provide direct services to children with hearing loss in mainstream schools, consultation to their teachers, and professional development to school staff. Itinerant TODs travel to a child’s neighborhood school to provide one-on-one educational support, foster listening and spoken language development, and help children build social and self-advocacy skills. They also act as a liaison between the family and their mainstream school. Hear Me Out provides a unique forum for these special teachers to share their experiences as they grow as professionals.

Hear Me Out is produced by Mainstream Services at Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech as part of our mission to support children with hearing loss and the professionals who serve them.


Hi Heather. Do you send out an introductory letter to the general and/or special ed teachers at the start of each new school year?

Heather Stinson

Hi Jennifer,
I send out an email to my main contact at the school as well as the student's classroom (or homeroom for junior / high school) teacher. If it's a new district, I also send emails to the principal and special education director. I introduce myself and explain my role in working with my student and invite questions that these professionals may have. In the first week or so, I make it a point to connect with new teachers face to face as well as new principals and, when possible, special education directors (although they can be more difficult to reach!). The more people who know me and what my role is, the easier it is to advocate for my students.

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Hear Me Out Blog

About the Author

Heather Stinson (CAGS, MED, S/LP-A) received her master’s degree in Education of the Deaf from Smith College in 2006 and a graduate certificate in Children, Families, and Schools (with a concentration in research methodology) from the University of Massachusetts in 2012. In addition to her many years of experience working with children with hearing loss who communicate using listening and spoken language, Heather has also worked as a preschool classroom teacher.

Heather has presented both locally and nationally on issues related to mainstreaming students with hearing loss and is a contributing author to Odyssey magazine. Heather currently works as an itinerant teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing at Clarke Mainstream Services, a program of Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech.

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