One of the keys to helping children with hearing loss listen and speak is the dedication of an expert staff. In this short interview, meet teacher Julie Deely.
How did you get interested in becoming a teacher of the deaf?
At the University of Iowa, I received my bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders and my certificate in American Sign Language and Deaf studies. These are two fields that typically do not intersect. One is very focused in speech-language pathology and audiology, and the other in Deaf culture and using ASL as a primary mode of communication for D/deaf individuals. I, of course, fell in love with both. Out of undergrad, my goal was to become a speech-language pathologist (there was no deaf education program at the University of Iowa). While applying to graduate programs, I searched for jobs that might help me balance my passions. Child’s Voice introduced me to the world of listening and spoken language for deaf children, and I knew it was the right path for me.
Tell us about your career so far — including your previous time at Child’s Voice
My journey at Child’s Voice began back in 2015 as an aide and substitute teacher. At this point, I still had my sights set on being a speech-language pathologist. Once I spent more time in the classroom, I fell in love with teaching. The incredible staff at Child’s Voice encouraged me to pursue my master’s degree in Deaf Education and in 2018 I was accepted into the Early Intervention in Deaf Education cohort at Fontbonne University in St. Louis, Missouri. I spent the next 3 years working at the Moog Center for Deaf Education in early intervention as their lead toddler room teacher. I loved working with families and children birth to three years old. When my husband and I decided to move back to Chicago, I knew there was only one place I wanted to be! I was so excited to be welcomed back into the Child’s Voice family.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
I think the most rewarding part of my work is just seeing my students genuinely happy at school. I love to see growth and progress and great data, but nothing beats a belly laugh at something silly in the classroom. It is so important to me that we build strong relationships and have fun while learning. To me, the biggest indicator of success is if we are all having fun.
What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time, I am an avid CrossFit athlete and runner. I love participating in local competitions and races and I’m always up for a good challenge. Recently, I ran a 5k while holding a 7-pound pumpkin (and ate lots of apple cider donuts after)! I love to read and I typically alternate between a good, heart-pounding, fiction thriller and non-fiction books. My husband and I love to try new restaurants, although we often end up at our favorite sushi spot.