‘I reached out to the teachers and had a clear focus on supporting their students through remote learning and helping them make sure that their students were being catered for,' says Sharyn. 'It was a steep learning curve, and it was challenging, but I felt like I had the knowledge and experience to support me through what could have been a stressful time.’
Sharyn says she now has the expertise to branch into a new area of interest—supporting students with dual sensory disabilities.
‘Increasingly, we are seeing students with more complex needs and multiple challenges and I wanted to feel more confident in my ability to support them.’
Although her Master’s specialised in hearing loss, Sharyn says the course taught her where to access the latest research and how to incorporate what she learns into practical teaching.
She has been applying these skills in her independent research and reading into the best practice approach to supporting students with dual sensory disabilities.
Sharyn has also been working closely with the school’s itinerant Vision Teacher to share knowledge and discover how they can best collaborate to support students with both hearing and vision loss.
'I have a high school student on my case load who is blind and has deteriorating hearing loss, so I have been working closely with his vision teacher to work out how both of those things fitted together,’ Sharyn says.
Earlier in the year she even came back to NextSense Institute to complete a one-day professional development course on supporting students with vision loss to complement and build on her understanding.
‘The Master’s has given me really great knowledge that I have been able to branch off from and further investigate other areas that I'm interested in,’ she says.
Sharyn plans to continue teaching children with hearing loss and additional disabilities on a full-time basis and says she would encourage others in her situation to consider undertaking their Master’s.
’It might seem like a big mountain to climb at the beginning, but you will get through it, you'll learn a lot, and the sense of achievement at the end is incredible.'