Guest Blogger - Cristi Mercedes Saylor: Creating Our Own Training and Support Group

06/03/2009 12:06

Creating Our Own Training and Support Group

- Cristi Mercedes Saylor, DHH itinerant teacher, East San Diego County


In my work as an itinerant teacher I have had the opportunity to work with several children or young people who are deaf-blind or who are deaf and have multiple handicaps. I also was fortunate to have attended several trainings offered by CDBS in the past – you know those olden golden days when people actually had money to fund such things. As I work with various teams who serve my students I have found myself wishing that they, too, could have attended all those trainings.

Recently CDBS offered a one day training and discussion on interveners to which four of the teams I work with attended. It was great for us to have the opportunity to sit and discuss what interveners are all about and the unique needs of each team. One thing that came out of the training was that people wanted more training and they wanted more time to discuss their students and compare notes with other professionals. So I said why don’t we just create our own trainings and support each other? Seems logical enough. After all we have a veritable plethora of talent, skills and knowledge – plus one of the assistants has decided to get the Utah intervener certificate – think of all the new things we can pick from her brain!

So I decided to “test the waters” and see if people really would come if I offered to facilitate this type of group. And, many people have said, yes, they’d like to come, and they don’t have the time to come often. Hmmm… what to do? I decided to set it up so that we will meet quarterly, discuss topics, ask questions and share what has worked and offer each other support in this journey. I’ve also started sending out emails and links with things of interest for people to read at their leisure. This way they can get training without having to go any place.

Our first meeting will take place in October. The plan is to keep it informal and somewhat collegiate. You know - round table discussions over food and drink? Perhaps start with an article to read and discuss, show videos and discuss them – there are some good ones out there that really are worth a thousand words – and pick one student to discuss as a group. I’d also like us to share emails and build relationships so that in between our meetings we can still offer support and information to one another. So I guess what I’m really saying is that I’d like to build a little community of people who serve children and young people who are deaf-blind and/or deaf with multiple handicaps.

And one never knows where such a thing will lead. Already it has sparked a discussion with one of our schools that serves infants to pre-schoolers who have various disabilities to start setting up a team that is always the team that serves the children who are deaf-blind. Imagine that? We would have one team that would learn how to work with these young children and instead of constantly training teams over and over with the same concepts we could train a team once and then – hold onto your socks – build on that training over time! And who knows where that might lead?! Anyway, I’m excited to be starting a new idea and I’ll keep you all posted on the progress and growth of our little community.

For those of you who’d like to join us, either in cyberspace or real space, feel free to email me at cmsaylor@sdcoe.net. The more the merrier!

 

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Topic: Guest Blogger - Cristi Mercedes Saylor: Creating Our Own Training and Support Group

Date 12/25/2014

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Date 11/24/2009

By California-State-University

Subject California-State-University

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Date 06/05/2009

By Gloria Rodriguez-Gil

Subject Cristi Sailor's initiative

Reply

As an Education Specialist for California Deaf-blind Services I have been working very closely with Cristi Sailor for the last few years. She is a very committed and knowledgeable professional who cares for her students who are deaf-blind and their families. I am not surprised at all that Cristi is taken the initiative of promoting a community in San Diego for sharing, discussing and learning topics related to deaf-blindness. As Maurice Belote says we look forward to following the activities of this new community with the leadership of Cristi.

Date 06/04/2009

By Dr. Lisalee D. Egbert

Subject Roundtable

Reply

Wonderful! I love your proactive approach to facilitating understanding among peers! What to take charge and change the world - one student and one teacher at a time!

Date 06/03/2009

By Maurice Belote

Subject Creating a San Diego group

Reply

This is very exciting Cristi. We talk a lot about building local capacity and this is exactly the kind of activity we are looking to support. There is clearly a need for this kind of "community" based on the positive responses you've already received. We are all looking forward to following the activities of this group and learning from all of you.