Is There Life after Being an SLP?

Photo by Marcus Aurelius:

I've been an SLP for 39 years. That's a long time. I've seen a lot of changes; some of those were procedures/ideals that circled back to where we started. A lot has happened. A semi-quick recap: 

  • We've gone through a global pandemic and 9-11.
  • I've raised 3 boys and have managed to stay married for 39 years. 
  • I've worked in 3 states, 6 school systems, and 15 schools (8 of those in my current school system), and have served hundreds of students from Pre-K through age 21. 
  • I worked in an SNF for 2 years.
  • I've had leadership positions within the SNF company and a school system.
  • I've worked with students with all kinds of backgrounds and diagnoses. 
  • I've seen kids through inclusion, pull-out, and virtual (thank you  COVID) 
  • I've seen my caseload as high as over 100 and as low as 30 (when I was a lead therapist and only did therapy part-time). 
  • I've dealt with Medicaid billing but am now working a dream billing because we contract with an outside agency to see our Medicaid students and do billing. 
  • I've written out countless IEPs until everything became computerized. 
  • I've worked with great teachers and not-so-great ones. 
  • I've had fantastic principals who knew exactly what my job was, and very few who had no clue.
  • I've been extremely fortunate to have never worked in a closet...I've had my own space (except when working at the middle and high school levels) and have even worked in some schools where I had a sink, window, and/or outside door. 

But...I'm tired. 39 years is a very long time to be doing the same thing. If I could only write IEPs from evaluation reports and therapy data, I would. That is, without doing the meetings. Writing IEPs is my jam, for sure. I'm sure that makes me some kind of weirdo...I hear people complaining all the time about how they abhor writing IEPs. Just give me the data and the facts, and I'll write an excellent IEP. (If anybody knows of a job out there like that, head them my way!)

Being an SLP has been an enormous part of my life, of who I am. I have practically lived and breathed speech pathology for most of my 39 years in the field. School therapy has my heart. There are some SLPs out there who think School SLPs don't know what they're doing, but I say that's very rare. Yes, I've seen some who don't know what they're doing but for the most part, they do. It's hard to juggle being a diagnostician, therapist, and director of meetings, not to mention having to get along with school administration, teachers, students (of course), and parents. It's a tough job. Along with our own egos, we're dealing with everyone else's. 

So, what am I going to do? My official retirement date is 05/26/2023. My initial plan was to work until I had 40 years total, but in January 2021 my husband and I received some earth-shattering, life-changing news. It's time for us to enjoy life and travel while we can. It's time for us to enjoy the freedom of little responsibilities. It's time for us to see the beauty of this country and life. There are some kinks that have to be worked out but I know it's going to all work out as it should. 

This is our plan!
As for this blog, I'm signing off. I haven't kept up with it in such a long time so no one will miss me! I've really enjoyed sharing my experiences and opinions with whoever would listen. I'm going to keep my TpT Store open and may even add more products, so be on the lookout! I've already closed my IG account but you can follow along our adventures with our Flyin' the Coop blog and IG, or my personal IG

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