STOCKTON, Calif. — Ashley is a Deaf and Hard of Hearing specialist at Edison High School in Stockton. ABC10 asked Ashley a few questions about her career in teaching. This is what she had to say:
How long have you been teaching? 6 years (all with SUSD!)
What subject do you teach?I am a Deaf and Hard of Hearing specialist and I teach three subjects for my special day classes. Those include Daily Living Skills, English and Social Studies. All while also managing a caseload of students that mainstream out of my classroom. This includes any required consultations, collaborations with the general education teachers regarding accommodations and modifications, and also the scheduling of all interpreters.
Why do teachers matter? Teachers were students once too! Teachers truly care about their students and guide the students to become someone unique and special. Teachers do mean something to those who long for support and exposure to education
What do you love about teaching?
Teaching my students that chasing your dreams and applying yourself to open doors is what will bring you happiness. Being a teacher for the deaf and hard of hearing has made me love the "lightbulb" moment when I see my students truly understand and enjoy the learning process everyday!
What are the challenges of teaching?
Not knowing what will happen today or tomorrow, deciding which adventure to go on while advocating for myself as well as for my students, especially for their rights to a fair education. Providing accessibility and support when it comes to helping students that are often forgotten in education.
Who was your favorite teacher growing up?
I have many teachers who were there for me! But I will have say this, a high school teacher named Andrew Walter, who works for Stockton Unified School District as the K-12 Math Curriculum Specialist. At the time I was at Stagg High School, he was my MESA advisor and math teacher for several years. He always treated me the same as any student that did not have disabilities and always challenged me to be a better person. If he did not do his job as a teacher that happened to care for all of his students, I would have probably never thought twice about making a change as a deaf adult teaching in the same district I grew up in.
What is your favorite student success story?
I have so many, but I do have one student who continues to challenge himself and prove to all of us that he is capable of doing anything! I have a deaf-blind student who is a senior, and a huge Minnesota Vikings Fan. The reason why I bring him up is that when I first had him as a student, he did not know his rights under American Disability Act, or how to advocate for himself when it came to having access, and being comfortable asking for what he wanted and needed. Fast forward 3 years, and just yesterday he did a performance that included dancing and spoken lines for the school's theater company in front of an audience of his peers! I am so proud of him for how much he has transformed since I first met him. He has the energy to keep up with football statistics, has amazing confidence, understands that his disabilities don't change who he is all while being trilingual (Spanish, English, and American Sign Language) and switching between languages with growing confidence each day! I could go on and on about him! I have never been so proud of a student of mine who keeps showing everyone he is able to do anything he wants to.
What advice do you have for the future teachers of America?
To always remember what you had longed for as a student from your teachers. Nothing stays the same forever in education and to always be quick on your feet when a lesson goes astray. If you need to take a minute for a break, do it and regroup yourself after. Always just remember this when you go through hard times as a teacher. They're there for a reason to help us grow to be better teachers for our students.
What advice do you have for parents?
When it comes to the deaf and hard of hearing population, my wish will always, always be for the parents to learn American Sign Language and the importance of inclusion in Education for their deaf and hard of hearing child. Education and communication starts at home, and giving their children access to this amazing world we live in, will just allow us teachers to provide even more for the students in the classroom, Also to realize the importance of having full access in education when language development and socializing is concerned, and that there is never ever a limit of what you can advocate for your children in relation to their education.
Congratulations again to ABC10's February 2022 Teacher of the Month, Ashley Lowe!
Teacher of the Month/Teacher of the Year is ABC10’s way of honoring exemplary teachers in our community and say ‘thank you’ for their hard work. ABC10 viewers, students, principals, parents, family and friends nominate educators they feel deserve this title. Each month Sac State selects a teacher out of this pool of nominees to be honored as ‘Teacher of the Month’, receiving a $1,000 dollar check from SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, a profile story on ABC10 and ABC10.com, and other prizes! Plus, all nominees are put in the running for Esquire IMAX and ABC10’s ‘Teacher of the Year’ winning an additional $5,000 dollars courtesy of SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union. The ‘Teacher of the Year’ ceremony is held every spring.