|My first school job|
Fast forward 24 years (time does fly!). My twins are now adults. I have worked in a suburban school system for 20 years now, in an affluent community that does have significant pockets of poverty. The 'norm' for my caseload is a complicated child---often ELL, often multi-handicapped, often an AAC user, often autistic (often a combination of several of these factors). Every year seems to offer newer challenges, and never ending demands both in time and expertise.
This is why attending the ASHA convention is so important to me---my job has changed, and I need to stay up to date with the latest in technology, techniques, and best practices when working with different populations and cultures. Seriously, I can't wait for November to roll around! I will jam my convention schedule so I can get every scrap of information that will help me work effectively with the children, teachers, and families. Socializing is good, but that's not why I go. I go to learn.
When I make my sessions schedule, I keep some personal goals in mind. These goals reflect the changing population of children I work with and the sessions I choose to attend will reflect what I feel I need to learn more about. Here's the start of my list:
- Learn better techniques to develop the literacy skills of the more multi-handicapped children
- Keep abreast of techniques to incorporate effective iPad use into therapy and the classroom
- Develop my own cultural awareness, especially Burmese and Latino cultures
- The Common Core has come---what do I do?
This is just a start. The point is that the field has changed for me, as it has for you. (If you are a new graduate, know that your job will change over time.) Everyone needs to find ways to stay on top of the change. For me, this year, it's the ASHA convention! And I will blog about it.
Ruth ("The Rogue Blogger")