Monday, September 21, 2015

Options, Options, Options

I really feel for some of the SLPs on the Facebook Groups in which I belong...I really do. Some of them haven't been in the field very long, and they're talking about bailing. And that bothers me. A LOT.
I love this field, and I love my job. And, in the semi-words of Billy Dee Williams as Gale Sayers in Brian's Song,  "I want you to love it, too." Okay, that's not exactly what he said, but I'm paraphrasing here. (His words were, "I love Brian Piccolo, and I want  you to love him, too.")
We are very fortunate to have options: if we aren't "feeling it" in one setting, we have the option to try another one. As for me, there was a time when I needed a break from the school setting. Lucky for me, I had a call from a recruiter at the right time. I named my price, and into the SNF world I went. At first, I loved it. I loved working for a company as opposed to a school system. Then the "honeymoon" ended. A contract was lost, and I was promoted to assistant manager to the NW region of the state, only to have a job I didn't want (or ask for) a few months after that. My manager resigned, the other assistant manager became the manager, and her position wasn't replaced. That put me in the position of covering the whole north part of the state, instead of only the NW part as before. More time away from my 2 small boys and my husband. Leaving the house when it was dark, and returning after dark set in.
The schools were looking pretty good after 2 years of SNF. My special ed director was right: I ended up hating it & was miserable. I did some soul searching and, after realizing what I really wanted, decided to try to get back in to the schools. I went back to the school system that hired me right after undergrad school & was very fortunate that a position had just opened up. It started out as part-time, which was okay with me...I decided I could do Home Health to make up the difference, but I ended up not having to since the position grew to full time before I started. That was a good thing, because I was 8 months pregnant with my youngest when I started back in the schools.
Why am I sharing all of this? To give anyone who needs some advice this tidbit from a 30+ year veteran: You may get the "7 year itch". You may feel burned out, and you probably are. The school setting now is a completely different job than  when I first started. A lot is expected of you, and it's tiring, & it's tough. If you don't think you belong in the schools, then look elsewhere. If you're miserable, then chances are your kids probably are, too. It's time to look for a different setting and try it. Who knows? You may realize that the school setting is exactly where you're meant to be.

3 comments:

  1. Working in other places besides schools has always solidified to me that I belong in the schools! But, it is nice to have options.

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  2. We are very fortunate in this field that we can be full or part-time, school-based, med-based, home health or even private. I, too supplemented my income early in with private and home health. While the schools have changed, working there allowed me to be with my children.

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  3. for me, sometimes it was just changing districts. from large to very small to medium to small....they can be very different. Also going from one district into an AEA (area education assoc.) some state call them different things....

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