We consider AG Bell a professional home, a place where friends and colleagues gather to catch up, learn something new from each other, and advance our skills in facilitating face to face learning communities, as well as our LSL practice. This year we experienced the learning in different interactive formats and engaged in deep content that compelled us to come back and ponder how the learning will change how we think and what we do.
Here are a few reflections from the Hearing First team:
- We're thinking about being brain changers. Dr. David Sousa shared the science of how the brain learns and how technology is rewiring the brains of children. He reflected on how this brain science might also influence our practice with children who are deaf or hard of hearing. We are now thinking about attention, memory, thinking and social behavior in a different light.
- We're thinking about collaborative partnerships. The Common Ground Project is led by professionals who care deeply about children who are deaf or hard of hearing and represent both the listening and spoken language and the American Sign Language approaches to developing language. These professionals are bravely leading the way for ongoing planning and dialog to improve outcomes for all children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- We're thinking about coaching and mentoring. A number of well-respected colleagues challenged LSL professionals to think about the mentoring relationships in a variety of ways. Individually within their sessions they created the opportunity for conversations about the mentoring relationship as a learning partnership and one that focuses on an aspiring LSL professionals’ strengths to improve practice. Participants had the opportunity to reflect on specific mindsets that lead to positive outcomes for the LSL professionals to achieve their goals.
- We’re thinking about Telepractice. We are seeing increased interest in telepractice as a viable successful alternative to provide access to quality LSL intervention services for families. Many of our colleagues have continued to develop this specific expertise and have been willing to share their experiences. We are thinking more about the knowledge and competencies needed for professionals to successfully implement quality Telepractice programs and are encouraged by the LSL outcomes documented in children and their parents.
- We’re thinking about families in poverty. There are staggering U.S. statistics on children living in poverty and we were challenged with the opportunity to dialog about specific strategies to implement as we serve this population. We see more opportunity in the future to continue the conversations so that this vulnerable population is served with respect, value and equity.
It’s a lot to think about and there were many more exemplary sessions and topics.
Here is what we do know.
We went to this learning experience with an expectation that we would in some way be changed. That we would broaden our points of view and have authentic touchpoints with colleagues who would give us new insights to think about and come face to face with challenges that are not easy to address.
Our expectations were met.
Now, to move forward, reflect and consider our responses to the learning.
Coming in September, we will launch a community platform for professionals to learn together to improve LSL practice, share resources and expertise, and extend the discussions that transpire at our face to face gatherings. There are many possibilities in store for the LSL community with this opportunity to exchange insights, meet the challenges and learn from each other.
We hope to see you all there!