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Teachers Vs Occupational therapist

Last post 11-11-2008, 12:01 AM by Lori Dick. 3 replies.
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  •  08-13-2008, 7:44 PM

    Teachers Vs Occupational therapist

    well the school year just finished and I just was transferred from a bad site.  One thing is I feel bad for the new students that are entering the school system in false hopes of being educated by teachers whom have barely any education.

    I was sitting with a teacher whom just finished her Education Degree.  She went into the profession b/c she works 10 months, is finished by 3pm and has 2 months off for the summer.  Already she sounds like a genius right??  But what was most disturbing was that she told me of a student that was into a certain culture, and would not dress like all of the other students, this particular girl would wear black and was depressed all of the time.  What I found most important was this teacher's comment "I wish she could just wake up and get over it, I just wanted to smack her and say stop it!!", and this is when I lost my faith in professionals-  This is b/c I have seen this same attitude with OTs PTs Nurses, teachers, social workers, and people in general. 

    As an OT I worked in psych facilities, and almost every other type of setting an OT can work, and I abhor this type of ignorance.  Yet this mentality is accepted in American and world society.  In my town a girl just killed herself, and again, and I am thinking what did her parents do to try to get her some help.  I believe in going against the grain and being unique, and trying to help others understand, I read the August issue for OT advance and that is what prompted this response.  We as professionals should not assist in the labeling or stereotyping of individuals with mental illness.

    My supervisor at a well known Manhattan hospital said to her fellow therapists "I saw on the weekend one of our pts with her daughter, her daughter was wearing all black and she just looked all depressed, what a disgrace to her mother!!".  I said nothing, cause I guess being a guy therapist in an all female environment does not grant me any hope of ever being right.  Maybe if I was born in Rhode Island of parents whose marriage was picture perfect, and her father was a teacher (go figure!) I might have a chance of educating my peers.  I was not so lucky, I was getting beat up in the inner city projects, and paid my way through college only to find that the people whom are supposed to educate the young are even more biased themselves. 

    I only ask one thing  (cause as a male therapist I can't say anything in this profession) if you are an experienced female therapist, and someone opens their mouth ignorantly about mental disorders, please engage them in hopes of enlightening them somewhat-  

    thanks- Vyltos

    up the irons, cause if I had money I'd buy you a beer
  •  08-14-2008, 10:22 AM

    Re: Teachers Vs Occupational therapist

    It is very interesting that you would mention this because this is something I encounter often. Some of these teachers I wonder where their heart is. How can you see things in your own children and not care about things that are going on with your students. I often hear the same things you did about the teacher schedule and that is the only reason that they become a teacher in the first place. I have come to find out that I have a heart for people and though sometimes I get too attached I like to be able to help others find resources that can help them live their daily lives in a functional way ( mentally and physically). OT can be tough in the school system because once many of these teachers understand what you do, they will often feel they do not have time to implement anything in the classroom, even if it makes a difference.


    A strong positive attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug. – Patricia Neal

  •  08-22-2008, 3:35 PM

    Re: Teachers Vs Occupational therapist

    I am a COTA/L and have been practicing for 32 years, currently in an OP clinic as an orthotic fabrication specialist. In the past I've worked in the schools. I also have 2 adult children who are teachers and work very hard to educate and meet the individual and various need of their students. They are extremely busy, putting in long hours past the normal work day. I really do take offense to the above "general" statements. You see, teachers incorporate into the classroom EVERBODY'S (OT, PT,Speech, Spec. Ed., Parents, Soc. Ser.) needs and requests. They make sure that IEP's are followed. So, lets get rid of the generalities (that are so evident throughout this forum). We've all seen "bad apples" in all professions

  •  11-11-2008, 12:01 AM

    Re: Teachers Vs Occupational therapist

    While you may have a point about statements teachers made, I think that your comments about not being right because you are in an all-female enviroment to be very hostile. You have a background in Psych, perhaps you should look inward and  deal with some of your anger. It may make it easier to speak to others when the say thing that you find offensive.

    I spent a number of years working in an all-male enviroment, I found that some people are misguided, but you should try not to let it get to you.

    i also think that teachers are working under extrodinary circumstances, for very little pay, so maybe you might try cutting people some slack.

    Lori D.