The Team

Vicki and Sam NovVicki Gilbert

vicki@tinysigners.co.uk

Tiny Signers® has been set-up and is run by Vicki Gilbert. Originally it started as Babies Can Sign®, 8 years ago. As our remit expanded, and it grew in popularity, beyond just babies to toddlers, pre-schoolers and school children, our name also moved on to become more encompassing and reflective of what we offer.

I have been teaching for nearly twenty years, originally as a Physical Education teacher but I quickly moved to specialising in working with disabled people, including those with hearing impairments and gained my BSL (British Sign Language) Level 1 qualification. I have now gained Level 2 and am currently working towards Level 3. I have taught extensively in Further and Higher Education, also on a freelance basis.

I had heard about the SIGN with your BABY™ programme and taught myself using The Complete Learning Kit, in preparation to use with my first child, Hope (you can see her using the sign for bird at the top left of this page when she was 18 months old).

My husband and I found it amazing to be able to communicate with her long before she could speak, she was proficiently using about 100 signs by the age of one and could clearly tell us what she did and didn’t want!

I have also signed with my second child, Jack, who is 8 years old, despite obviously now being a fluent speaker with an extensive vocabulary he still keenly signs and never ceases to amaze me. I excitedly signing with my 3rd child Joe who is now three.

I’m always so excited to share this amazing tool with other parents and carers. It is truly wonderful and really does open a window into your child’s mind.

I love to hear all the signing stories people tell me in class, by email and text! It’s such a priviledge to share in those special moments that parents and carers have with the children. Also it’s such a joy when a baby signs for the first time in class (frequently this is the sign for ‘bubbles’ as they get so excited!). I wear two hearing aids due to high frequency hearing loss.

Berni Bazely

berni@tinysigners.co.uk

Hi, I’m Berni. Married to a slightly younger man (the long-suffering Garry) and Mum to the gorgeous and sensitive Alice age 7 and the more boisterous Noah age 2!

I’m was new to signing when I had Alice. When I was pregnant, my husband shouted to me one day to come and look at something on the internet – obviously I was intrigued! He had found the Babies Can Sign homepage while surfing the net (still not even sure what he’d been looking for to be honest!) and he said ‘I’d like to do this with our baby – what do you think?’. I like to think of myself as someone who will have a go at anything – so of course I said yes. Little did I know that finding that website would end up changing my life – in SO many ways!

I started classes with Alice when she was 7 months old and thought it was the best money I’d ever spent. Not only were the classes a HUGE amount of fun but also I loved the fact that both Alice and I were learning something together – it was nice to give my Mum Brain a work out!

I can’t tell you how immensely proud I felt when Alice signed for the first time – she was 10 1/2 months (in that ‘magic window’ of 10-13 months, just like Vicki had said!). I always thought that her first sign would be milk – but it turned out to be music!

Communication with Alice had now begun – and once it began it just spurred me on. I ended up doing the course (Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced) twice through, and enjoyed every minute of it!

Before I had Alice, I worked in the design and marketing industry. Whilst on Maternity Leave I was made redundant. My previous career hasn’t been a complete waste of time either – my ‘talents as a designer’ sometimes come in handy when we need new flyers, posters, etc!

I have now gained BSL Level 1 and have joined the lovely team at Tiny Signers® and feel very fortunate to be doing something I am passionate about – I now have a ‘Signing Tot’ so I KNOW it works and is an invaluable skill for both parent and child. I have recently had my second child, Noah, and am looking forward to signing with him!

Karen CapitanoKaren and Sam

karen@tinysigners.co.uk

My name is Karen and I have 3 daughters and two grandchildren.

I worked as a childminder for 10 years and a Rainbow Leader for 5 years, when my children were younger.

I have gained Level 1 qualifications in BSL, Communication tactics with deaf people and Communication and guiding skills with deafblind people.

I worked for Leeds Deaf Blind Unit as a medical communicator guide and have worked with adults and children with varying disabilities.

Working with babies and small children is particularly rewarding, as you get to see how much fun and enjoyment (as well as being educational) the children get out of the sessions.

 

RachelRachel French

rachel@tinysigners.co.uk

My name is Rachel and I live with my husband, two lively young sons, Toby aged 6 and Leo aged 3 and have recently returned to work after the birth of my daughter Heidi, now aged 4 months.

I originally started my career as an English Language Teacher after gaining my first degree in English and German. I moved to Munich, where I taught English for 2 years and then went on to live in London, teaching in English Language schools. I decided to build on my teaching skills and interest in communication by working as a Speech and Language Therapy Assistant with children aged 2-13 and then returned to university for my second degree to qualify as a Speech and Language Therapist.

Throughout my Speech Therapy career I have used signing in schools and clinics with both normally developing children and those with special needs and have seen the massive benefits for the children, parents, carers and educators.

I have signed with both of my children and have found it an invaluable aid to their emerging speech and language skills. For Toby (a very hungry baby) his first sign was ‘more’ and for Leo ‘sorry’ (as he was always hitting his big brother!). Toby’s primary school incorporates signing into many of their everyday activities which means he is able to continue to develop his signing skills and is gaining a skill for life.

I love being able to use sign language to aid children’s communication and find it most rewarding during the Babies Can Sign and Tiny Signers sessions to watch the children’s enjoyment and enthusiasm and development of their  own signing skills.

Sarah Harman

sarah@tinysigners.co.uk

My name is Sarah and I have two daughters, Kate and Beth and I am currently teach some nursery signing sessions. I am based in Frome in Somerset.

My first daughter Kate and I attended Babies Can Sign classes when she was 7 months old. We both had great fun and gained a fantastic new way of communicating with each other.

After we finished the advanced course I jumped at the chance to train as a teacher and join Babies Can Sign.

So, after all the training and British Sign Language exams – here I am!

I really love teaching my classes and watching others get the same enjoyment and learn the same skills as I did.

We are always looking for the RIGHT people to join our team, wherever you are in the country, Europe or the rest of the World! Contact us now for more details