Rebekah is about to finish up her Master of Disability Studies, which we offer in affiliation with Macquarie University.
While she kicked off her career teaching in a mainstream school, Rebekah found she had a special interest in teaching children living with disability and wanted to expand her knowledge and skills. So when the opportunity came up to work for NextSense and further her professional education at the same time, she jumped on it right away.
Working at our school while studying has meant Rebekah can put into practice all the innovative things she has learned straight away.
The Masters program Rebekah is completing provides the opportunity for qualified professionals to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to adapt content, develop teaching methodology, and apply specialised instructional techniques to meet the needs of individual learners with sensory disabilities.
— Rebekah Power, teacher at NextSense School and student at NextSense Institute
You can read as much as you like about what children with hearing or vision loss need, but the reality is each child is unique and special. You have to get to know them to teach them what they need to know and get them where they need to go.
"I have learned a lot about myself as a teacher, such as how and why I teach, and I implement those changes in the classroom. And while balancing working fulltime and studying has been a challenge, I feel so well supported", she says.
Rebekah teaches in our Spoken Language program at NextSense School and is also building her knowledge of Australian Sign Language (Auslan) and Deaf culture through weekly language classes and communicating with all our students.
"I love that I learn something new every day when there is a culture so different to mine, being a hearing person from a hearing family", she says.
“It means I stay interested and engaged and excited about coming to work, and that’s when I do my best teaching."
Rebekah works with families to provide personalised programs with individual goals set for each student. She adapts resources to the children’s different hearing levels, always ensuring videos have good captions, and she uses lots of visuals when talking about new topics. There are many hands-on activities using rich language to talk about what the students are doing and how they are doing it.
For her, the relationships she has built with families have been incredible.
I love the kids and the families that we work with. They are just awesome. Our small classes mean we really get to know our students and our families really well and we work together to achieve the best outcome.