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The one thing all TinyTalk teachers want you to know!

Being a TinyTalk teacher is a job that’s varied, entertaining and wonderfully rewarding. The role is  designed to fit conveniently within your existing family commitments and lifestyle, giving you the flexibility to choose your working hours and be your own boss!

 

This month’s blog features an interview with Deb Hart, of TinyTalk Kent Downs, to tell us more about what she does on a day to day basis and why she enjoys it so much!

 

1. Where are you based and how many classes a week do you run?

I run TinyTalk classes in the Kent Downs area which spreads from Ashford Kent in the East, to Whitstable via Canterbury and Faversham!  We have 12 classes weekly including our original Baby Signing classes and Toddler Talking classes.

2. What made you want to become a TinyTalk teacher?

I was looking for a job to fit in around my growing family, and we had enjoyed our TinyTalk classes so much when we attended them ourselves it felt like the natural move. I loved that I could bring my daughter with me to class, and she was the perfect little advert!

3. What do you find most rewarding about teaching baby signing?

I feel very privileged to witness some amazing moments in my classes – babies taking their first steps, making their first signs, watching them grow in confidence week on week, but the thing I love best is facilitating a supportive network for parents; somewhere they can come and sit, and chat and get to know people if they want to (we have social time after every class for the babies to play and grown-ups to drink tea and talk), or just to sit quietly and take time for themselves. I’ve watched new friendships bloom and strengthen, and parents feel more capable and empowered as a result. Parenting is tough, and having a happy place is essential. I am proud that my classes have been that place for so many families over the years.

4. At what age can children move up to Toddler Talking classes and how are these different from Baby Signing sessions?

Our TinyTalk Toddler Talking classes are really active, and are best suited to little ones who are confident walkers and happy to be in a lively environment – usually from around 18 months.  Like the baby classes, we cover a new theme each week, use lots of fun props and sing all the children’s favourite songs!  In addition to using our BSL signs to help little ones communicate more easily, our toddler classes also have a strong focus on supporting developing speech, as well as working on social skills such as taking turns, following instructions, teamwork and sharing. In true TinyTalk style, you still get tea and biscuits after our learning time, and a chance to chat while the little ones play with different themed toys each week; it’s a great way to spend quality time with your small people while hanging out with likeminded bigger people!

5. What is the one thing ALL parents and carers should know about baby signing?

It works! Signing gives tiny people the means to express themselves long before they are able to do so verbally. This alleviates all the guess-work on the parent’s behalf, and all the frustration on the child’s part, making for a happier, calmer family dynamic. Signing will give your child a great foundation in how two-way communication works – we always say the word at the same time as making the sign, so babies are used to associating both in a clear, deliberate fashion. Even as your baby grows and starts to form spoken words for themselves, signing will support this; clarifying the words they find tricky so there’s no chance of your child being misunderstood in these fragile first years.  It’s great to see that so many nurseries and preschools and primary schools are using sign language these days, so it really is a skill for life!

 

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