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Haley23 Haley23 is offline
 
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 6,438
Senior Member

Haley23
 
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 6,438
Senior Member

Old 05-08-2018, 05:54 PM
 
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I would definitely talk to the SLP in your building and see how it is in your area. I'm a sped teacher, so I've worked really closely with the SLPs who I've worked with.

In one district, the SLP had about 80 kids on her caseload and had to work in 3 different schools, which meant she wasn't really "part of" any staff. She didn't get a planning period. We ended up becoming friends outside of school and I helped make sure she was connected in our building, but she said our building was the only one she felt like that in.

In my state, SLPs also have to do testing, evaluation reports, and write IEPs, and be case managers for kids who have speech-language disabilities (I know in some states, just being a "case manager" or "diagnostician" is a completely separate job, which is crazy to me!) I was in a gen ed teacher in the school I worked in after that, but our SLP appeared to have a similar schedule and caseload, and was only in our building 2x per week.

Our current SLP has it really good. I'm not sure why the staffing ratio is so different in my current school; she's full time just at our school. She only sees about 30 students and she only has to see each child 30 minutes per week (sometimes 60 minutes for the most severe kiddos). This means she doesn't have a full instructional schedule and has hours of student-free time every day. As an SLP, she's also not really "on the radar" for dealing with things like severe behavior or other issues that students with disabilities might have. I could be wrong, but I would bet her situation is pretty rare.

Based on our discussions, I also know:
Pros:
-Since you spend so little time with your kids, if you have a really difficult student or a student you don't click with, you only have to see them 30 minutes per week
-She's able to do mostly games and fun activities- kids generally really like going to her group
-No pressure for state testing/data etc.
-At least for the mild/moderate kids at our school, speech/language difficulties are often actually "cured," not like a learning disability that the child has to deal with for life
-Easy to find a job (at least in my area)
-Can do outside therapies and make a lot of extra money on the side

Cons:
-Due to the time spent with students, you don't build the same relationship as a classroom teacher would
-Even being in one building, ours often feels out of the loop because her job/focus is just so different than everyone else's
-Sort of related to above, pretty much every PD/staff mtg. will have nothing to do with you and your job
-Can be isolating- even if you're in one building, you will most likely be the only SLP
-Some teachers/admin may not respect you as much as a classroom teacher
-Paperwork can be a lot
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