Saturday, 22 October 2011

Introducing our Teachers: EMMA MCSPARRON

This is the last, but by no means least of the Meet the Teachers blogs. In this case the first indeed the last! Emma is the lady who started the ball rolling in the Sign2Music Licensed Teacher Programme. She contacted me in Sept 2008 asking if I was offering opportunities for others to facilitate Sign2Music programmes. It got me thinking and soon I had developed a training programme and put the wheels in motion. She and Alison completed their training in July 2009 and that was the start of our the lovely Sign2Music family you have learned so much about this week!

Tell us a little about you and your family?

Ekkk! Here goes  … Born in Reading, London.
My parents decided they wanted to bring up the family back home and so they returned with their little bundle (me!) to the small but quaint town of Limavady, and I’m sooo glad they did
J Don’t get me wrong I love London but don’t think I could live there.  I’m the eldest of 3 children. Owen (the middle one) has just recently became a proud Dad to beautiful little Ava. She indeed will be my next super signer if I’ve anything to do with it! The youngest, my lovely sister Amy is 16 years my junior! Oh what a shock that was for my parents, lol.

Now some years later I’m a mummy to my very beautiful and entertaining 5 year old, Georgina, who has just started P1 (time flies!). Just today (Friday) she made me very proud by singing ‘You’ve got a friend in me’ from Toy Story at her school open day. I’ve got high hopes! J  I currently work full time in Hands That Talk (Deaf Community Group) in Dungiven as Client Services Manager. Having a passion for Sign Language, I feel very lucky to have a job and vocation I love very much. Outside of work I love music, (too many favourites too mention), gigs, concerts and festivals. Hehe, sometimes I think I was born in the wrong decade!

Why did you become a Sign2Music teacher?

Having worked in the deaf community for a number of years and witnessed babies and toddlers signing to their parents and grandparents I was immediately hooked. I couldn’t believe those tiny hands were actually communicating! I soon learned baby signing was also taught to hearing babies to aid communication before speech. I loved the idea! I researched a number of baby signing franchises and came across the fabulous Deirdre McLaughlin and Sign2Music. The rest is history as they as say! J

Where do you do your classes at the moment?

I run Saturday Baby and Toddler classes in Windy Hall Community Centre, Coleraine and have recently facilitated a number of private classes in The Women’s Centre, Derry, an after schools activity programme in Oakgrove Integrated Primary School, Derry and sessions for The National Deaf Children’s Society.

What are you are most proud of about yourself?

Firstly I’m proud of being a mum to Georgina – she’s a real star! I’m proud of what I’ve achieved in relation to my career, having received my Level 3 certificate in BSL, the Junior Trainee Interpreter Certificate and taking the leap to become a Sign2Music teacher.

Your favourite signing experience(s) (personally or one that has been shared with you)?

Ohh too many too mention, just look at the ‘signing stories’ section of the Sign2Music website - It’s impossible to pick a favourite! However I do have to mention Shawna my super signer competition winner, she is such a star and makes me very proud J

What would you do if you won the lottery?

OHHHH HOLIDAY, HOLIDAY HOLIDAY!!! I’m ashamed to say my last foreign holiday was in 2001 (I guess this is the reason for my excitement lol!) I’d buy a nice house with a big garden for Georgina and Kim our very crazy Springer Spaniel. Needless to say I’d share my fortune (assuming I can’t spend it by myself :-p) with my dear family who have been so supportive over the years (you ever hear of the bank of Mum and Dad?)

Tell us a secret about you? 

Terrible but true and I’m embarrassed to admit this! In my teens I finished with a boyfriend because he wore white running trainers and needed to sit on a cushion whilst driving to see out the window! Oh how your views and priorities change over the years!  

Oh one more... On many an occasion (usually a Saturday morning) I’ve got an ahem... “Really sore throat” (I’m really trying to reach Deirdre’s high notes!) hehe J

Your favourite film? Book?

Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons, I read it twice (out loud) when I was expecting (that’s another story) poor Georgina!

As for films, I haven’t a real favourite. As long as there’s a good story line and a decent finish I’m happy. Don’t you just hate it when films finish and you’re left thinking… “Is that it”?

Who makes you laugh?

Easy one J Georgina (daily), friends and work colleagues... I love to laugh, it’s such a tonic.  

Who inspires you?
Lots of people inspire me... family, friends, and work colleagues; people who have gone through the toughest situations and are still able to smile and be happy!  My favourite inspirational quote... “When you stop trying to change others and work on changing yourself, your world changes for the better”

What would you say to someone who was thinking of becoming a Sign2Music teacher?

Go for it! It takes hard work and dedication to get your classes up and running but when you do, it’s so worth it. Those smiling babies and toddlers melt my heart every Saturday! I’m positive that very soon Sign2Music will be a household name and will be the most popular class parents can attend with their babies and toddlers. Happy signing J


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