When I was a Student Teacher...
the winter holiday break coming to an end, I'm mentally preparing myself for my
newest venture as a school-based SLP -- the role of a cooperating teacher! As I
had mentioned in a previous
blog, from 1/3/12 through 3/9/12, I'll have a graduate student extern.
I had also mentioned, this is a first time experience for me! Graduate student
extern, student teacher, whatever you want to call it -- I'll be referring to
the position as "student teacher" for consistency's sake in my blogs.
Regardless of where we are in our current careers, we've all been there --
maybe it was only a few years ago, maybe it was over 20 years ago, or in my
case, some time in between.
about having a student teacher has caused me to reflect back upon my own student
teaching experiences, which I hadn't thought of in several years. I actually
had four different student teaching experiences during my education (twice as
an undergrad since at the time in my state, you could be an SLP in the schools
with only a BS, Ed -- and of course twice in grad school).
experience was vastly different for me. Some experiences were more positive for
me than others. One thing the experiences all had in common: I learned things
that I am still using in my job today!
written a brief blurb about each experience and a few of the things I picked up
on during these experiences that I'm still using as part of my work as a
Undergrad - Public school:
Although I had a great cooperating teacher (who is still a school-based SLP for
the same district in which I student-taught), I didn't enjoy many aspects of
this experience (crazy caseload, scheduling difficulties, being itinerant,
paperwork!). I always said to myself that I'd never be a school-based SLP -- funny how things work out, isn't it?
So for all of you student teachers out that who think you'll never work in a
school, never say never!
What I learned:
The joys of bingo stamps - easy to use with a
variety of activities - and kids love them!
Travel-sized Crocodile Dentist is the best game
Use the phone to call kids to come for speech
instead of hiking around the entire building looking for them.
Undergrad - Early intervention setting: I loved
this assignment the best out of all four experiences. I always thought I'd be
doing E.I. forever after this experience. I worked in an integrated preschool
setting with students with a variety of disabilities. It was my first
experience with children with autism, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome.
What I learned:
Don't be afraid to try something different with
students if what you've been doing isn't working.
Use of push-in whole group language lessons.
Students are motivated by technology!
OTs, PTs and music therapists can be valuable allies
when working with students -- especially during co-treatment!
Grad school - Early intervention setting: In this
setting I worked in preschool classrooms with students with moderate
disabilities (e.g., hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum) and
had preschool-aged students whose parents brought them to the school for
"traditional" pull-out articulation and language therapy.
What I learned:
Language occurs every day, all day long including
at circle time, lunch, free play, and snack. Push-in intervention can occur
during any/all of these time slots.
Everyone needs to work together to promote language
and carryover - the SLP, the classroom teachers, and the aides.
The use of literacy and literacy activities during
articulation and language intervention.
Grad school - Inpatient rehabilitation facility: I
always knew I wanted to work in pediatrics. I never had any interest in geriatrics,
though I had to do an adult assignment to get my hours for ASHA certification.
In the long run, this experience benefitted me greatly -- it led to my first
job! Coincidentally, two weeks after completing this assignment (and graduating
with my master's) one of the SLPs in the pediatric outpatient facility down the
street (owned by the same company) was going on maternity leave, and I got
hired for the position (which I loved!).
What I learned:
Even if the assignment isn't your "favorite," do
you best and learn as much as you can. You never know what can happen or where
the experience may lead you.
Insurance companies dictate care all too often.
Families play an integral role in patient recovery.
The blue dye that is used with dysphagia patients
does NOT come out of clothing!
love to hear about your student teaching experiences. Did you enjoy your time
in the public schools? What did you learn that you still are using today? Feel
free to comment on ADVANCE's blog page or Facebook page!