A proud 2011 graduate of FSDB, Brooke Stanfield is a fearless preschool teacher in the L. Daniel Hutto Early Learning Center at FSDB. She works with students in the various ELC classrooms with a friendly smile and an efficient air. Watch the video profile, read more below, and check out the accompanying ELC spotlight story.
How did you become an ELC teacher?
Initially, I wanted to become a social worker or an early intervention advocate—to help deaf children and their parents communicate as early as possible. I had already earned my bachelor's degree in 2015, majoring in Social Work at Gallaudet University.
When I first started as an instructional assistant in 2015 in the Early Learning Center, I became fascinated with the Montessori method and how it helped deaf children learn. By then, I decided on my career—I wanted to teach three-to-five-year-old deaf and hard of hearing children. I returned to graduate school and earned my master's degree in 2017 at Lamar University in Texas, majoring in Deaf Education/Deaf Culture.
I am in a happy place, career-wise—I love my work as part of the ELC teaching team, nurturing the growth of young children.
What do you like about the preschool crowd?
In a perfect world, I would want each deaf child to have the best educational experience possible. Often deaf children struggle with reading, math, social skills, life skills, and many other areas. I went through these struggles and can empathize with my students. I asked myself, where can I start? Where and how can I help reduce these barriers?
Preschool is the answer. Preschool is the core, the foundational years in the educational experience. Preschool is the place that sets the tone for the rest of the student's educational career.
I wanted to be that person to be sure they are ready for school, able to tackle every obstacle that comes their way. I am fortunate to be able to work with this age group to identify issues and address them now before they become lifelong barriers.
What else would you like people to know about your work?
I believe that interaction—both structured and incidental learning experiences—during the preschool years helps children develop language fluency as well as social and emotional skills. I would like for people to learn more about the importance of preschool education and the positive impact of early learning and interaction opportunities for deaf children.
What do you learn from your preschool students?
I learn every day from my students. I learn that every child is different. I learn that not everyone learns the same way. I learn that it's okay to adjust. I learn that every student has their own pace. Equally as important, I never doubt my students. Just as much as I teach them, they also teach me something new every single day!
What do you enjoy outside of work?
I enjoy swimming, reading, learning new things, and walking my dogs. I love going on new adventures, camping, and being outdoors.
By Christi Boortz, Instructional Services
The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind is a tuition-free state public school and outreach center available to eligible Pre-K and K-12 students who are deaf/hard of hearing, blind/visually impaired, or deafblind. At FSDB, students learn how to do more, be more, and achieve more, fulfilling our vision of preparing them for a lifetime of success. FSDB gratefully accepts private donations to support vital programs that directly benefit students and are not paid by state general revenue funds. For a campus tour or to inquire about eligibility for enrollment, contact FSDB Parent Services at 904-827-2212 voice or 904-201-4527 videophone. For more information, visit www.fsdbk12.org