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Speech in the Schools

The End of Another Year!

Published June 8, 2011 9:00 AM by Valerie Lill
I'm not sure how it happened, but it's here. The last week of school (we start in late August, so our last day is June 9th)! On one hand, with everything going on the last few weeks, it feels like the end of school would never get here! On the other hand, how is it possibly June already?

So many other questions are running through my mind. Will I get my progress reports done by Thursday? Will I have enough time or boxes to move my speech office at the middle school in one day? Who will the district hire to replace our departing SLPs? At least one? Any chance of two? With all the changes going on in our speech staff, my biggest question is what will my building assignment look like next year? It is rather likely that my assignment will change - a proposition that makes me nervous and excited all at the same time. Once I find out my assignment for certain, I'll be sure to address that topic in a future blog. The rest of you SLPs out there - what questions are running through your mind as the year ends?

As the case is every school year, I've learned a few things about myself and my job - both good and bad. Here are just a few self-reflections based on my experiences in the 2010-11 school year:

1. I teach my students with high-functioning autism to be flexible "curve line" thinkers. This is a skill with which I struggle, though I am improving. For example, when told with basically no notice that my speech office needed to move locations, I agreed to do so and managed to find a temporary place to work with students (and through the suggestion of a co-worker, found a new, permanent speech office).
2. Although writing a my first funding report to an insurance company to get funding for a speech-generating device (SGD) was a long and tedious process involving hours and hours of typing and revising, the reward of seeing a child receive his first SGD and immediately take ownership of it and use it successfully made it all worth it! He is amazing at using his device, and I'm very proud that I was able to help get him there!
3. I hate to write this one, but I've dealt with this issue too many times this year not to mention it. I cannot rely on all of my students' case managers to be "on top" of things, such as when reports are due and when meetings are held. I have to remember that often times we "related service providers" are forgotten or overlooked. Although I don't like bugging people about opening a new IEP in IEP Writer or sending five emails trying to find out when a meeting is being held, it is necessary at times. Better to bug someone and tick them off then not know what's going on with my students!
4. I work with some really great people at all three of my buildings. Sometimes I wonder if I'd be able to keep my sanity without them! You know who you are, and I truly and sincerely thank you! If we can't laugh together about the things that happen at school, we'd all go crazy!
5. I wrongly assumed younger students liked it when I spoke to them when I spot them in public outside of school, and older students despised it. How wrong was I?! Who knew seven-year-olds would be embarrassed by their SLPs saying "hi" to them at a soccer game? Who knew that a high school student who never has willingly spoken with me at school would initiate conversation with while shopping at his place of employment? Go figure!
6. Change is inevitable. Students move in, students move out. Teachers and building assignments change. See No. 1. I can be a flexible thinker and accept whatever changes come my way before the start of the 2011-12 school year!

What have you learned this year? Any eye-opening self-reflections? Summer vacation, here I come.

 

2 comments

how good writing it was...

eric Pachuau September 23, 2012 10:50 AM
India IA

You are so right about the importance of being flexible and also the necessity of relentlessly asking about meetings etc. to be sure we are "in the loop" .This year, I watched my students self-advocate more frequently. Even my lower functioning students seem to be letting people know what they want!

So, maybe I am doing a pretty good job. Happy summer!

Angela June 18, 2011 6:27 PM
CT

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    Speech in the Schools
    Occupation: School-based speech-language pathologists
    Setting: Traditional and specialized K-12 classrooms
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