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  • 'Is the Teacher a Racist?'

    “Do you think that the teacher is a racist?”Does this question offend you? Does it depend on the context? Does the context matter?Here is the actual situation: the special education team is reviewing referrals from general education staff. One teacher (not present) has referred a fourth grade student for concerns about his reading and math ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on November 20, 2015
  • Dear Future Leader

    Last week you told me about a recent leadership meeting: participants, proposed initiatives, attempted negotiations, and post-meeting allegiances. I didn’t hear what you needed, but I should have. I tried to dissuade you from higher-level politics. I don’t know if I felt jaded, or if I was trying to protect you. I care about you a lot. I don’t ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on November 6, 2015
  • Advice on Giving Advice

    When the right advice is given at the appropriate time, it improves lives. When off-hand, unsolicited advice is given, it may be a source of frustration. The concept of advice is to guide another person in making a decision or completing an action. As Speech Language Pathologists, we are often expected to provide advice and demonstrate expertise. ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on October 2, 2015
  • Search That Fact

    Imagine a contemporary trivia game show with teenage contestants pitted against each other to see who can find information the quickest. The host asks a series of factual questions across content areas (history, literature, science, music, etc.). Contestants type key words on their cell phones, which appear on large monitors placed above their ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on September 14, 2015
  • Belonging in Competition

    Competition may be inherently divisive and alienating, as people are sorted into predetermined roles based on “winning” and “losing”. People handle competition in different ways, and some types of responses are more successful than others. Ideally, we gradually learn to manage our frustration when we don’t win a game. Recently, I was touched by ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on August 27, 2015
  • Beginning With Goodbye

    There’s always a small thread of sadness mixed in with the happiness when a client completes therapy.Our relationships with students are temporary. Sometimes they last a few years, and sometimes they last a few months or less. Yesterday, a student who has been making excellent progress on her articulation asked me, “What happens when I’m finished ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on August 21, 2015
  • Winning the Job Lottery

    “What would you do if you won a million dollars?”A few years ago I was working with an entertaining group of fifth grade students who were practicing producing their speech sounds at the sentence and conversational level. We were taking turns answering social questions from a deck of cards. We turned over the card with the question, “What would ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on August 14, 2015
  • Demographic Meanings

    “My caseload is really diverse. About 25% of the students are African-American, 25% are Hispanic, 25% are Asian, and the rest are American.”One of my colleagues offered this description of her caseload at a social event attended by other clinicians and university faculty. Did you notice anything interesting about the above statement? Perhaps you ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on July 16, 2015
  • Interrupting the Monologue

    Many people are enthusiastic communicators who love to share stories and talk about their hobbies and interests. I once worked with an 11-year-old boy who was creative, engaging, and entertaining. He had specialized interests and advanced skills in engineering. He loved to talk about his latest inventions – in a long, detailed, running ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on July 9, 2015
  • First Class Clinicians

    Last week I met a skilled clinician who had recently relocated, transitioning from running a private practice in an urban environment to working in a rural school district. After our conversation, she shared the following sentiment: “I was encouraged by your own strong feelings that school-based clinicians aren't second class therapists and ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on July 3, 2015
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