After a lot of thought and consideration, I’ve decided that I am going to stop posting on this blog. I may or may not be back, but I need to focus my energy elsewhere right now. This experience has been a good professional challenge and a helpful tool for almost a year. Now that my job has changed, I find that it’s not something I feel called to do anymore.
To my SLP readers – you are rock stars for the passion and energy that you give to your clients/students. Keep up the good work!
To my friends & family – thanks for supporting & cheering me on. Y’all are a blessing beyond belief.
All my best,
Okay, all you early interventionists and preschool therapists – I’m looking for your recommendations. I need apps and traditional materials for therapy with my crew of 2-year-olds who are all very limited in their expression. Is there anything you just love and would recommend that I look for? I have toys out the wazoo at my center, so I’m looking for more typical therapy materials like vocab cards, Super Duper products, etc.
Most of my kids are emerging talkers. Some are still just making vowels, some babble and some use single words.
I *really* started seeing kids for therapy today. Here’s how my day went…
6:30 – took the obligatory first day of school pictures on the front porch & left the house with my new 1st grader, stopped at McD’s for a celebratory breakfast to go
6:50 – ate breakfast with my new 1st grader in the parking lot of the primary school to avoid first day of school traffic nightmares
7:20 – took Mr. First Grade inside the school with a bittersweet feeling – not for him…for me & the fact that this is the first time I’ve missed being an “insider” on the first day of school in 12 years
7:30 – Mr. First Grade decided he was okay to walk down the hall by himself (with a teacher) and (with an ever-so-cool fist bump), said goodbye
7:50 – I arrived at work with time to spare, clocked in and *thought* I was ready to tackle the day. I looked at my roster on our computer program and there were names there I didn’t recognize. (I spent the better part of the last week and a half reviewing the files of the kids I was expecting to have and gathering information about them.) I spent the next 2 hours figuring out which classrooms my kids were in (they switched rooms today) and finding out when those classrooms have lunch and nap.
10:00 – I finally picked up my first kiddo for therapy. I followed that session with another and another until 1:30. The only one left in that classroom had been checked out for the day. Between my growling stomach and my exhausted brain, I couldn’t possibly sing “Wheels on the Bus” one more time.
I spent the next 3 hours doing paperwork, filling out purchase orders and talking with one of my colleagues who assured me it would get easier. My company’s expectation is 22 units of therapy per day. I managed to get 14 today. Two-thirds of quota on my first day of therapy isn’t too bad…but it isn’t too great either. I just have to build my stamina and learn to make it a marathon, not a sprint. I’m going to shoot for more units tomorrow and by the end of the week, maybe I’ll be able to get through a whole day without wanting to take a nap under my desk.
4:30 (an hour and a half after I’m supposed to be off work) – I got in my car and went to pick up the kids.
5:15 – home with the 1st grader and his 2 1/2 year old sister… dinner, play, baths, bedtime stories, kids in bed, kids out of bed, kids in bed, kids out of bed, kids in bed… (husband had band practice at the high school)
8:30 – upload pictures, social media, blog post
10:15 – hit publish and go to bed because tomorrow is another day!
Anybody else have a day like this? It’s a crazy life we live, isn’t it?
So far, my new job has consisted of 2 days of orientation, 1 day of setting up my room and 5 days of finding my way around, getting to know the paperwork, and reviewing files. I did get to evaluate a little boy and actually did 2 therapy sessions with a little girl. I also spent some time shifting my paradigm and trying to figure out what my therapy will look like now that I’m working with toddlers and preschoolers rather than elementary school students. I’ve decided I’m going to try to stick with my theme units, but adapt them to meet my kids’ developmental levels. None of the other therapists in the company seem to do that, but it has worked for me in the past and as I transition, I’d like to keep some sense of what I know.
Even though the preschool is a year-round facility, the kids change classes and begin a “new school year” next week. We’re having our own version of “back to school!” I decided to go with that and do WHEELS ON THE BUS for my first theme. I’m thinking I might even do a different nursery rhyme or preschool song every week for a while. We’ll see how that goes.
Here are a few of the Wheels on the Bus resources that I’m planning to use:
We’ll definitely start each session by watching this Starfall video. It’s the best one I’ve found online. (I love Starfall!)
There are a TON of great ideas on this Squidoo site that I want to use! Some of the items are size sequencing, matching shapes, coloring pages, and visuals for singing the song. Their “free” printables require a paid Scribd account, so I made my own to share with y’all.
<— visuals for the song
I may try to do this schoolbus craft from DLTK, but I think it’s going to be a little too difficult for most of my kiddos.
I downloaded this app from Duck Duck Moose (99 cents) for my iPad.
Of course, no Wheels on the Bus activity for toddlers would be complete without the Little People and their school bus! I’ll be borrowing this from my daughter this week for sure.
I also think it would be really fun to make a school bus picture frame for the kids to take home, but I’m not sure we’ll have time for that.
Before I get to play Wheels on the Bus with my little kids, I get to take my big kid to first grade on Monday morning!
Happy BACK TO SCHOOL, y’all!
This has been my first week at my new job. I’m working at a private, non-profit agency with birth-5 caseload. So far, I really like it. My first two days were orientation. Those hard plastic chairs were painful! I was glad to get a chance to be CPR/First Aid certified, though. I’ve always wanted to do that, but just never have gone through with it.
Wednesday was my first day in my office. I hauled all of my therapy stuff in from the car and wondered how in the world I would ever be able to find space for everything! Here’s the “before” picture:
By lunchtime, I had the boxes unpacked and spent the afternoon touring the campus with my supervisor and getting a little . I’m sure glad they didn’t test me on everyone’s names!
This morning, I had a little more orientation on paperwork. (My brain is boggled!) This afternoon, I put the finishing touches on my office and spent some time looking at information on my kiddos. Since I can’t tell you about any of that, here’s a look at the “after” pictures of the office.
Looking in from the door…
I can’t help but “feather my nest”! If I’m supposed to spend my days in this space, I want it to be inviting and comfortable.
Language Leo moved too!
I think it turned out great. I hope they don’t ask me to move to a different room any time soon! I will have to work a little bit in a different room that’s in another building. I’m definitely not going to decorate it much.
I’m supposed to spend next week reviewing files and meeting my kids. I’d like to do some observation in the classrooms as well. My goal is to start “real” (read: billable) therapy the week of the 20th. I’ll keep y’all updated & I just might have some therapy plans to share!
As I was playing with my kids in my aunt’s pool today, surrounded by my family, I made a decision. I’m giving myself permission to take a hiatus from blogging for the rest of the summer. I know I haven’t actually written much this summer, so taking a hiatus isn’t really anything new. However, while I haven’t been writing, I’ve been constantly thinking that I should be writing.
I have a lot of SLP blogs in my Google Reader feed and while I’m amazed at the creativity and knowledge-base that these very talented people share, I have started to sense a little bit of a competition. That isn’t what I’m here for. I’m here to share what I come up with and what I find works with my students. If it helps someone, that’s awesome. If not and everyone thinks my ideas are completely lame, that’s okay too. At least I’ve documented what I’ve done so that I can come back to this site down the road and see what book it was that I used for a firefly lesson or how I adapted an Eric Carle book to meet my student’s needs.
I’ll admit that I was shocked at the way Say What, Y’all took off out of the starting gate. I was amazed to see the number of hits I got and how many pins started showing up on Pinterest. I got a little caught up in comparing myself to other bloggers and how often they manage to create and share amazing ideas. (Really – where do y’all find the time???) It began to distract me from why I started doing this in the first place and took the fun out of the whole blogging experience.
I start my new job 2 weeks from tomorrow. For the next 2 weeks, I’ll be spending a lot of time with my kids, trying to get my daughter to the point of being officially potty trained, getting my son ready to start first grade, helping my husband transition into his new job smoothly, sitting with my mom while my stepdad has surgery and helping out as he recovers, and just enjoying the last few days of freedom before I’m back on a regular schedule. I won’t be thinking about blogging and letting myself feel guilty because I haven’t written in a while. I won’t sit down with the computer after my kids are in bed trying to put on my SLP hat that has been gathering dust since school dismissed on May 17th. I’m just going to sit down, be still and enjoy the fact that for 13 more nights, there aren’t lunches to pack or backpacks to sort through.
I’ll be back, y’all. I’m not sure when, but when I decide my hiatus is over, I’ll be refreshed and ready to write about all of the wonderful new adventures that are bound to come!
If you’ve been reading here for long, you know that my life has been a bit upside down lately. My husband accepted a job that required us to move from Rogers, Arkansas to Hot Springs, Arkansas. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Arkansas, that’s roughly 200 miles. It took us from a town of a little over 50,000 people to a town of a little over 35,000 people. We left the Ozark Mountains and moved to the Ouachita Mountains. But – it took us from a town where we had very little family (though my husband’s aunt and grandmother are precious) to a town where we now live 10 minutes from my parents, grandparents and two sets of aunts/uncles. If you have children, you know how incredibly important that can be. My children are 6 and 2. They need to be with family and we need to have a support system for days when we’re running in a million directions or someone has a fever. We are now so incredibly blessed to have that.
This move was a giant leap of faith for me because I agreed to it without any inkling of a job. (Not easy for a person who likes things mapped out.) My husband accepted his new job in late April. School ended on May 17th. We moved on June 2nd. I was beating the bushes trying to find a job, but there was just nothing to be found. We went on a beach vacation with my parents the week of June 8th, then took our annual trip to visit family in St. Louis two weeks later. Still no job and the nerves were starting to kick in. Finally, the week of July 4th, there were two openings posted. I applied for both and got interviews for both. The snowball started rolling downhill fast (not a good metaphor when it’s 104* outside) and I was honored to be offered both positions. Well, there’s a new dilemma in itself – albeit a very nice one to have.
One of the positions was school-based (what I know like the back of my hand) and the other position was in an early childhood facility (what I’ve always loved). My husband and I weighed the pro’s and con’s of each for a very long time. I prayed and talked to people I trust to help me make decisions. In the end, it came down to making a decision based on what I love to do and I chose the early childhood facility. I’m giving up having my summers off, but the company is wonderful and has a great reputation. I’ll be working with my “littles” again, which will be a paradigm shift, but I think I can adapt my materials and my ideas to meet their needs. One thing’s for sure – it’ll make for plenty to write about! Expect some changes in my focus and my materials soon.
My husband and I took a celebratory trip to New Orleans this week. (Had to show you my “Y’ALL” shirt!) We spent 2 days and 3 nights enjoying the best food and music on the planet in our very favorite city. The relief of knowing that I had a job to come home to was like having a ton of bricks lifted from my shoulders. I still have a few weeks before I start to work. I wonder if I can actually get some posts written before then…