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21st Century Careers: Teacher of the Deaf

By Reya Gajara (‘27)

A teacher of the deaf is a type of special education teacher who works specifically with deaf children. There are various responsibilities associated with this career. 

Teacher of the Deaf Mrs. Deirdre Moran of South Brunswick schools said, “[I teach] kids with hearing aids and… teachers how their student's hearing impairment needs to be accommodated and how the FM system works. On that note, I order and keep track of the FM systems and the parts. I email teachers to make sure everything is going well… I also talk to audiologists to make sure that I am ordering the right device or part for that child. Also, for kids who have difficulty with hearing, I try to get them hearing aids.”

To become a deaf teacher, four years in special education are required to get a bachelor’s degree. Most schools, mainly public schools, require a form of certification while others, such as private schools, do not. 

For example, Columbia University offers a program to become a teacher of the deaf. The average tuition cost to obtain a degree from the Teacher College for Deaf & Hard of Hearing is approximately $63,040 annually. Audiology and child development are some of the course topics often associated with the program. Some courses include Introduction to Special Education, Language and Literacy for the DHH (Deaf and Hard of Hearing), Language Development for the DHH, and American Sign Language.

Having great communication, critical thinking, and organizational skills are vital for this career. Teachers must be able to keep track of each of their student’s data and accommodations as well as be able to analyze student behavior and performance. Not only must they have great communication skills with students, but it is also essential with parents to make sure the parents are doing their best for their child’s auditory and language development. They must also be able to work effectively with other people since they are constantly working with other staff members, families, and children. 

“For me, I have always loved working with kids. You know I work with kids from preschool all the way up to twelfth grade. They always brighten my day,” said Moran. 

Teachers commonly work for 10 months of the year in order to accommodate the typical school year schedule, but some others may work all year round. According to salary.com, the average salary of a deaf teacher in the state of New Jersey ranges from $44,124 to $59,150 per year. It truly depends on their responsibilities and their employment schedule. Every teacher of the deaf has different ways of teaching and has different duties. 

Teachers of the deaf are often needed in education, specifically in schools, as there seems to be a teacher shortage. Unemployment rates from 2017 have increased from 1.41 percent to 2.16 percent. As of 2016, there were over 480,000 deaf teachers and a projected growth of eight percent by 2026. 

To be a teacher of the deaf is a unique, but fulfilling career. There are a variety of aspects of the job and it requires being a very social, patient, and organized person. They make a lasting impact on a child’s life who is deaf or hard of hearing.


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James Zinsmeister
James Zinsmeister
Dec 14, 2023

Interesting insights into a necessary and priaseworthy profession.

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