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Toni Talks about PT Today

Life as a CEU Instructor

Published July 17, 2013 5:27 PM by Toni Patt

Today's lunch topic was my life when I travel to teach. I realized no one really thinks about the person presenting the course. I didn't think about it until I started teaching. Usually my main concerns were signing in, getting the manual, and getting the CEUs. I never really thought that much about the person standing up there for six or more hours doing the teaching. I thought a description of life on the other side of the projector would make a good blog.

I have a wardrobe I refer to as teaching clothes. I rarely wear them any other time. This includes shoes, jewelry and more recently a handbag. I always carry my luggage on the plane, so I'm limited in what I can bring. I'd love to bring my AFO collection or a pair of jeans but there's no room. As a result, I've become an expert on getting through airport security screens. I have getting my computer and projector in/out of their bags down to a science.

My company flies me to a destination. I get a rental car and drive to the next two. Sometimes I go to smaller cities and fly out of regional airports. That puts me at the mercy of weather, air traffic and just about anything else that can delay a flight. It's better to be stranded in a larger airport than a smaller one. Even with GPS on my phone, I get lost at least once a trip. So far the worst I've had to backtrack is 10 miles. Rental cars with satellite radio are worth the extra expense.

No matter the presentation, I have to figure out what I want to cover, research it and then write it down. I've found it easier to make an outline, write it out and then write the slides from that. Except for a few slides with specific values, I have to create each and every slide. I've had to proofread my creation and generate any pictures, complete with model release forms that I wanted to include.

Because I travel throughout the year, I get to experience all seasons and temperatures. I don't get to pick where I go. Since I live in Texas, I don't have a lot of cold-weather clothes. I'm always cold when I go to the northern states. Heat is not a problem. Once I had sleet, snow and freezing temperatures all within three days. Those things don't exist in Texas. Talk about culture shock.

I also get to see the country. Last trip, I drove winding roads through mountains. Others I've driven along the coast and through national forests. I've seen sights I would never have gotten to see if I were flying. Sooner or later, I always get a reminder I'm not in Texas. Once there was a dead deer on the side of the road. No way would whoever hit it have left it there in Texas.

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As someone who travels for work as well, I'm familiar with all you describe. It sounds like you've really embraced it...good for you!

It is a wonderful thing to experience our profession through unfamiliar eyes and people from all around the country (or world). How lucky you are!

Would love to read more about your experiences teaching. Please post more when you have some good stories.

Dean Metz July 17, 2013 9:24 PM

Great post! I've felt the same way as I travel to set up new clinics. I can get through a security gate much better than I could when I started!

Seeing dead deer on the side of the road is so common in Wisconsin, I don't even think twice about it. Interesting perspective, Toni

Lisa Mueller July 17, 2013 9:12 PM

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