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Speech in the Schools

I Need Help--Part 3

Published November 28, 2012 9:41 AM by Valerie Lill

In my last blog I just skimmed the surface of how paraprofessionals (referred to as "aides" in some districts) can help make our jobs a bit easier by helping us out.  Continuing with this series on ways to get help in the school setting, I've found there are many other staff members out there who can help us.  One such group are specials teachers.  I've always felt close with specials teachers. Maybe because, like most of us, many of them are itinerant and know what it is like to travel from building to building. Maybe because, like us, they are often the only teacher of their type in a school (i.e., one art teacher, one SLP).  Here are some ways specials teachers have helped me.  I hope that you can take these ideas and see how the specials teachers in your buildings can help you!

Library - Librarians are a wealth of knowledge and a great resource.   Librarians/library aides have helped me by:

  • Finding specific book titles I've requested
  • Finding both fiction and non-fiction books based on class themes

I've found asking the librarian to find/recommend books for me is a lot faster than having me look myself!  The task of finding books to meet my needs is time-consuming for me; however, every time I make a request to my librarian, within minutes she hands me a stack of books that meets my needs!

Art -  I was always horrible in art, so I have great respect for people who are talented in this area! Art teachers have helped me by:

  • Recommending different types of glue to try to make objects stick to low-tech communication devices! After trying school glue and super glue with no success, I'm happy to say that what the art teacher suggested worked!
  • Providing me with "random" things I've needed - thicker paper to back icons before laminating them, sandpaper, broken crayons. If it is something crafty chances are your art teacher has it!

Computer - I'm ok with technology but nowhere near an expert!  Thanks goodness for these folks!

  • Helping me fix my inbox when columns magically deleted
  • Giving me the down and dirty on how to use the SmartBoard
  • Not thinking any of my technology questions are stupid!

No, I didn't forget music and PE (gym).  I just haven't  asked them for help that much (though when I needed someone to cover my bus duty, it was a gym teacher that willingly offered her assistance!) In addition to these, specials teachers are excellent resources for giving us information about our students in their classrooms. Often specials classroom are quite different than our rooms or the students' classrooms.  Sometimes students can be quite different in specials subjects than anywhere else!  I also have found that why some teachers aren't always thrilled about having an SLP come observe a student in class, specials teachers are always welcoming!

This is just a brief list of all the ways I've used specials teachers talents to help me.  How do your specials teachers help you? Feel free to comment on Advance's webpage or on Facebook!

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About this Blog


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