As technology upgrades at ever increasing speeds, the possibilities in the world of interpreting and in education widens. In order to make the most of technology it is essential that teachers of interpreting not only learn how to use new technology in education, but also in interpreting. This means staying in the field as interpreters even if only on a part-time basis. It also means staying up-to-date with multi-media and experimenting with them to see what works best – when “old-fashioned” methods are the way to go and when new is actually better.
I have found that no matter the technology none of it works without aligning with other instructors in the department to ensure pedagogical integrity.
In the classroom this manifests by using traditional tools such as syllabi, websites, study guides, writing, and peer support. I also integrate community support by setting formal and encouraging informal mentorships, tutoring, and interaction with both the interpreting and deaf communities. By doing this I hope to let students take the theories they have heard and learn how real deaf people and interpreters have experienced them. The goal is that this will lead to subject-centered learning and both intrinsically and extrinsically motivate students to learn not for grades or certification alone but to be able to function in the task as useful interpreters.
My own feelings toward teaching are two-fold. I feel drawn toward it as something that I enjoy and have skill at, but I also feel that it is my duty – it is how I give back to the profession that has supported me and those who taught and mentored me as well as Deaf who weathered my green years and will continue to weather all new interpreters.
I stay up-to-date in the field of interpreting and incorporate these updates into curricula while still keeping foundational lessons strong, take my duty to the students, the field and the Deaf community seriously. I strive to be humble enough to stay teachable and admit when I’m wrong, yet be strong enough to demand excellence but not perfection. I will continue to keep up to date in trends and technologies that affect interpreting and the relationship between hearing and deaf people. Some of these techniques include research, continuing education and work in professional organizations to keep curriculum up-to-date and relevant to the real world students will experience.