Name: Beth Goldstone
Education (UR and additional): B.A. in American Sign Language, University of Rochester, 2005; Ed. S (School Psychology-in progress)
Job Title: Substitute teacher, graduate student
Employer: Rocky Mountain Deaf School
Why did you choose to attend the University of Rochester?
I visited Rochester and loved the charm of a small intimate campus. Also, I’m a big fan of the snow and cold weather. What better place than Rochester, New York? Also, I thought the Take Five program was a great idea, and that if a school valued education for the purpose of pursuing intellectual creativity, it seemed like a great fit.
What activities were you involved in as a student, and what did you gain from them?
I was active in the women’s Ultimate Frisbee team. They were a great group of girls who stuck together, worked hard, and had fun while doing it. Captaining that team helped me with leadership skills, time management, and organization. Not to mention that it kept me in great shape and introduced me to a great group of friends.
What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take that path?
While in school, I worked in Vermont at Austine School for the Deaf’s summer program. I loved the kids, the community, the challenge of living within a different culture, and using a new language right here in the US. After graduation, I moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and worked as a teacher’s aid in the elementary school at New Mexico School for the Deaf.
What do you do now, and why did you choose this career?
I am currently finishing up my first year as a graduate student at the University of Colorado, Denver. I’m working towards an Educational Specialist Degree in School Psychology. Since leaving NMSD (New Mexico School for the Deaf), I worked in a preschool center in Vermont where I taught sign language to a Down ’s syndrome boy one-on-one. Then, I moved to Colorado and worked one-on-one with a behavioral Deaf student at Rocky Mountain Deaf School in Golden, Colorado. That experience made me realize how important appropriate services for special needs Deaf children are. I decided to pursue a degree in School Psychology with a bilingual concentration in American Sign Language. In the future, I hope to be a School Psychologist either at a school for the Deaf or within a district that serves Deaf students in their mainstream programs.
What skills, tools, or knowledge from your major have been most useful to you since graduation?
Not only did learning American Sign Language help propel me into the career I am seeking today, but knowledge regarding the community’s culture has greatly impacted where I am today. Through the wonderful professors I had, I truly understood what it means to be deaf and not deaf. I learned how having a language and culture of your own can impact how a student feels about themselves. Understanding the principles taught to me at UR helped me assimilate into the Deaf culture better than many other hearing people I encountered along the way. Because of these lessons, I feel able to advocate for Deaf students and qualified to become a School Psychologist serving this population.
How do you balance your work and personal life?
I love to play. I still play Ultimate Frisbee and use it as a great way to keep in shape and meet new people. Staying active through Ultimate, trail running, climbing, and yoga keep me sane when working with kids!
Where would you like to be in five years?
I hope to be the School Psychologist at Rocky Mountain Deaf School in Golden, Colorado.
Learn everything you can and don’t stress over grades…remember to have fun! Also, I highly recommend taking advantage of the Take 5 program as well. It is truly a unique experience and the best time of your life.