Friday, January 25, 2013

This year, most of my students are life skills students.  They are going out into the community and beginning job placements, and they don't have basic conversational skills.  When I consulted with the teachers involved, we discussed what we were going to measure.  This form is something I have been using this year to track their progress.  It is a good start so far, but it will need to be tweaked soon, as my students are definitely showing improvements in these areas.  What do you think?  Would this be helpful for you?  Since this site is new for me, I could not figure out how to attach it, but if you would like a copy, please comment with your email address, and I will be more than happy to send it to you.  

A Little About Me... Or a lot!

I have always known I wanted to be in a helping field.  My mom was a nurse, and while body fluids and bedpans were a big turn off for me, I wanted a rewarding career where I could help people and love what I was doing.  I thought I wanted to be a Physical Therapist.  My first two years of college were spent studying for physical therapy.  Although I enjoyed the classes, I realized that I would be treating a knee or a back, and even though it was fine, it was ultimately not my calling.  I transferred schools and found Communication Disorders and Sciences.  From my first day enrolled in classes, I was hooked.  This was the career I wanted!

I completed my Masters in 1995, and began working in a private practice.  I thought I knew everything there was to know about speech therapy.  My first client was supposed to have been an easy articulation case.  His name was Michael.  He had just turned three years old, adorable, with blue eyes and red hair.  As it turned out, it was not simple; he clearly had apraxia.  I knew all about it from my textbooks and the two days spent on it in my motor speech class, but he was frustrating!  Two years later, we had made small gains, but he clearly needed to continue speech services in kindergarten.  He was one reason why I decided to pursue a job in a special education school.

At this new job, where I stayed for 8 years, I learned so much!  I knew more about the "whole" child. I collaborated with Special Ed teachers, OTs, PTs, music therapists, behaviorists and psychologists.  I began taking continuing education classes in sensory disorders, autism, AAC, apraxia treatments including PROMPT, oral motor disorders, auditory processing....  My therapy skills improved with each new course I took, with each new class of children, with each step in my career.

I began subcontracting, and finally began a career in a school district, where I have worked for 8 years in all grade levels.  I currently teach middle and high school, and due to layoffs, I am only part time this year.

I did not realize how many people blogged about speech, made their own materials, and even sold them.  My eyes were opened again!  I am so excited to try something new, and hope to have fun and learn a lot!

So now you know about me.  I hope you continue to follow along in this new journey of mine!