Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Building Successful Lives™- End of School Year Recap

I'm now in my 2nd week of summer break from work as a school based speech-language pathologist in the metro Atlanta area. It was a great and busy school year!  

I am enjoying my time in Florida since the memorial day weekend. It is always so refreshing to spend time in my beautiful sunshine and home state of Florida. Here's a picture of me at a new spot my family and I discovered named Ponce Inlet that is located a little south of Ormond Beach. 

As I reflect on the past school year, I am so grateful that I got to contribute to building successful lives in my students every day. It truly is rewarding to see their growth that is evident when I observe their communication skills and review my DATA! I think I am certainly the queen of progress monitoring as I have a form for just about everything I need! You can check some of those out here.

Each year, I look forward to attending 5th grade graduation for my students and this year was no different.  I wrote personalized letters for each child that recognized the gains they made in speech-language therapy and encouraged them to continue to succeed in MIDDLE school. I loved handing them out after the ceremony and snapping photos.  I felt like such a proud MAMA not just their SLP! Ha! I still can't believe some of my kiddos are moving on from elementary.  I have worked with some of them for the past four years. 

When I chatted with parents, they shared their appreciation for me working with their child over the years. I know that I made a difference in enriching their child's life from the conversations we had and their desire to snap keepsake photos! It makes me smile just thinking about it. :)

This year, I not only provided direct speech-language therapy for children with communication disorders, learning disabilities, Autism, intellectual disabilities, and behavioral challenges but also provided consultative/direct services to children in the Response to Intervention process. 

I enjoyed seeing the progress students made receiving listening comprehension and oral language interventions. I also liked collecting background information like a sleuth to determine whether kids needed a referral for special education evaluation, then assessing them and analyzing evaluation results to determine whether they would qualify for a speech-language impairment eligibility and subsequent therapy services. I had several tricky cases this year including determining whether there was a language difference due to English Language Learner needs or a true language disorder. 

I also served on the SLP leadership team for my district, facilitated local team meetings, and supervised 2 new hires for their Georgia state license. It was a great opportunity to contribute to the professional growth of these young women. 

When it was all said and done, it was a rewarding school year. The smiles of my students, the hugs,  and the multiple "I'll miss you this summer" confirm that I was certainly building successful lives one day at a time this school year. 

I am glad for the summer break from my school SLP role, yet I am excited for all that is in store for Building Successful Lives Speech & Language Services. Stay connected by subscribing to the blog by email so that you receive blog articles directly into your email account. Have a great rest of the school year for those still at work this month. Keep up the great work for those working in pediatric private practice or early intervention as well! You can do it! :)

Tamara Anderson

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