The American Sign Language Teachers Association, ASLTA, has a list of programs
that they recommend for becoming a teacher of ASL. It's a pretty short list, so you may be better off attending a college with a good ASL program (there are lots of those out there; here
, for example, is a list of college programs in the Northeast) and a good education program, and working on combining them as a double major or something like that... then attend a graduate program like the ones at Teachers' College or Gallaudet. (If you want to teach hearing students at a public high school, be careful about the education track you take in undergrad--don't
major in Special Education or Deaf Ed.)
I'm going to go out on a limb and recommend you not
start at Gallaudet, because 1) it can be incredibly alienating to live/work/attend school on that campus without being a fluent signer already, and 2) I'm fairly sure that they would not consider accepting an undergraduate student with little prior knowledge of ASL. (However, as a proud alum of the Deaf Ed graduate program, I do highly recommend Gally for your Master's degree, should you want to pursue one!)
One more recommendation: Please learn a lot
about Deaf Culture before you make the final determination to become an ASL teacher. I want you to be prepared for the community resistance you may encounter. I am a CODA (hearing child of Deaf parents), and a native user of ASL. Some Deaf don't believe even *I* have any right to be a teacher of ASL, because I am not Deaf myself.
The field of ASL Education in general is moving in two directions:
1) It's becoming far more culturally sensitive and professionalized, which means a greater emphasis on the teacher's truly proficient/fluent/native use of the language.
2) Its size is exploding as the legitimacy of ASL is recognized across the country, which means a greater emphasis on... well, finding a teacher, any teacher, to fill a space in a school's new or expanding program.
You may find it useful to read over ASLTA's position paper entitled "Guidelines for Hiring ASL Teachers
." I thought this section was especially important for you to know about: Normally it takes a minimum of 5 years of intensive language study and immersion for any person to develop "advanced" levels of proficiency. No one who has had only a few ASL classes and limited experience in the Deaf community should consider teaching ASL to others.
Take that word "intensive" seriously. My husband spent nine years learning ASL, two of them in an immersive situation on the Gallaudet campus, before he felt ready to call himself fluent in the language.