Flew solo Friday at my public school site. My master clinician was gone at an in-service and all I found on the desk was a stack of testing materials for 2 kids who might need speech services, a list of the 10 caseload groups for the day, 2 kids’ paperwork to update, and an ominous “good luck” note. Considering that I’d only been shadowing her for 4 days, I feel preetty preetty preetty good that I juggled everything so well. It also helped that every class was having a Valentine’s Day party and a few of the kids didn’t have to come in for a session.
You’d have to flash back a week to get a real sense of what a small victory this day was, because my feelings toward the whole experience was pretty bleak. I wrote out 5 long paragraphs whining why, poor me, so miserable, then deleted them because I realized I need to woman up (thanks, mom) and power through these next 4 months. It came down to accepting that my style is different than my master clinician’s. She creates her therapy activities on the spot based off of whatever curriculum work the kids bring in from their class, whereas I prefer to have games and fun pre-planned activities. She’s seriously talented and I have full respect for her ability to easily incorporate a chapter on electric circuits and conduction (ugh, revisiting 4th grade science again) or a social studies chapter on England whale farming into fixing a kid’s /r/ or /s/ sound. I’m not going to become a mini-her, but at least I’m being exposed to a different method that I’m sure I’ll end up fitting into my own preference of therapy. You’ll have to pry the dice, construction paper and crayons from my grip ‘o’ death, sorry.
More notes from the wondrous world of public school speech and language services.
- I was being introduced to the groups the first few days and it was always along the lines of, “This is Ms. Albeanu, she’s my speech intern and she’ll be helping me like Mr. F (her student last semester from my program) did.” One kid gave me an irritated look and said, “Oh, so you’ll be leaving us too?” Yep, you got it.
- On day 2 my supervisor handed me a sheet of 2nd grade math problems and gave me a minute to think up something that works on stuttering and /s/. 76, 67, 66, 77 and cents to dollars were hot numbers in that sham of a lesson. In other news, I did something I never thought I’d do – taking back the standard kid cry, “When am I ever going to use this again?”.
- Selective mutism is such a trip. Wasn’t taught much on it, so it should be fun working with this one kid.
- I get being social with the teachers, but I enjoy eating my lunch alone. One reason is that I typically bring a little baggie of clementines to tide me over until I can grab something before my 4PM class, otherwise my stomach roars during class. I end up getting the stinkeye from 3 different teachers asking me if that was all I brought. I won’t comment on that greasy swill of a meal you bought from McD’s, and you can leave me to my citrus peeling, thanks.
- I’ve resorted to crouching and sitting during therapy, because when I stand I cast shadows on them from the height difference. My height is great for looking like an authority figure (pro tip: can’t go wrong with taking a clipboard and/or whistle wherever you go), but awkward when their heads are in perma-upward tilt at me for 30 minutes.
- 13 more weeks, oof.