12
July
2017
|
11:00
Europe/London

Brain tumour no match for graduating Kim

A student at The University of Manchester has overcome serious illness to qualify as a teacher of the deaf, graduating on July 13.

Former primary school teacher Kim Shepherd had her studies interrupted in 2014 when doctors discovered a brain tumour needing urgent surgery.

Thirty years after her first degree, she had started the part-time PGDip in Deaf Education in 2013, thinking she would be qualified by June 2015.

Though the tumour was benign, Kim was seriously ill for over a year, eventually returning to the course in September 2015.

She said: “Discovering the tumour was a tremendous blow, but my doctors reassured me it could be removed and I would make a complete recovery, probably within six to eight weeks,” she said.

“My course leaders were great: rather than having to give up, I was reassured that I could take an ‘interruption’ and return when I was better.”

If it hadn’t been for the concern shown for my situation and the flexible arrangements that were made for me after surgery, I wouldn’t have been able to complete my training
Kim Shepherd

“If it hadn’t been for the concern shown for my situation and the flexible arrangements that were made for me after surgery, I wouldn’t have been able to complete my training.”

In spite of the adversity, Kim achieved high grades in her course and was even able to present a break-out workshop at a conference in March

Kim chose her area of study - balance and deaf children – as a direct result of her own experience as her illness had made it difficult for her to balance.

In January Kim was offered her dream job, working part time as a teacher of the deaf at the school where she did her first placement.

She added: “Learning about deaf education was like an awakening for me – I began to view everything I knew about language learning through the prism of hearing loss and realised I wanted to refocus my skills and work with this exceptional group of children.”

“There is always something to learn when you are teaching deaf children. It is a job that keeps you on your toes.

“I am always trying to think of new, better or different ways to engage and involve the pupils I teach, and championing their cause.

“For me, completing the course was a marathon, not a sprint, but I got there in the end.”

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