The Penny

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.

[Monday, June 1, 2009]

What Will I Be Doing This Fall?

I had an interview today with Kathy, principal at Waverly Elementary, and Cindy, a teacher of the deaf who will be working at Waverly in the fall, and Emily, who is pretty much the SLP boss for Howard County. It went okay.

I currently work at Dayton Oaks Elementary, which is where it says "Dayton" on the map. I'm .5 there, which means I am there 2.5 days per week. The other half of my week, I work on the Pals team. Pals is a relatively new program, just a few years old, which consists of a team of special educators, speech language pathologists, paraeducators, occupational therapists, and a behavior specialist, all of whom service preschoolers with IEPs who are enrolled in community preschools and daycares. I love doing Pals, and I love working at Dayton Oaks. I'm on the RECC team at Dayton, which mean Regional Early Childhood Center. I work with preschoolers and kindergarteners, mainly on language and social skills, as well as some articulation. The kids are great, of course, but the main reason I like working at Dayton is the team. I love those people!

However, next year, Dayton Oaks will lose a preschool class due to lack of enrollment, which means that SLP staffing will be reduced. Currently, Dayton Oaks RECC is staffed at 1.5 (so one full time person, Beth, and one .5 person, me). Next year, I'm not sure what Dayton will be.. 1.1 or 0.9. I've heard both. But Beth is planning to reduce her hours in anticipation of an upcoming little blessing, so Dayton will still need a part timer. I'm not sure exactly how many hours it would be.

The RECC resource SLP, Karen, recommended me for a new position working with a group of four deaf and one hard of hearing children, who are currently in preschool at Veterans Elementary but will be at Waverly Elementary (near "Woodstock" on the map) for kindergarten in the fall. This would be a great position for me! It's only .4, so two days per week, and they would expect me to service probably two hearing kindergarteners in addition to the deaf kids. Whatever, I'm just happy if I can stay in Howard County. Certainly, I would love to work with deaf kids, and I would love to work at Waverly. The principal is great, and I like the kindergarten inclusion special educator, Andrea. I worked with her when I transitioned a Pals student to Waverly's preschool. Cindy, the teacher of the deaf, seemed nice, too.

But, of course, I would love to stay on Pals! As frustrating as it can be at times (some children are in Pals because their parents have refused RECC placements and can be adversarial, teachers may not be willing to listen to us or make modifications, and classrooms will not necessarily be structured in a way that helps the child with an IEP), I like the variety and the feeling of freedom. It's silly to think that I'm "free" when I'm doing Pals, because I'm usually racing between schools, but it seems that way.

So here's my hope for next year: two days at Waverly, a day at Dayton, and two days on Pals. Unfortunately, Dayton will probably need more than one day, and Pals will need more than two days. Sigh. Maybe two Waverly and three Pals? That would be an increase in Pals staffing (.5 to .6). And I would miss the Dayton RECC team! Maybe two days at Waverly and three at Dayton? I don't think Dayton will be a .6 though, and I would certainly miss Pals. Maybe it will end up being Waverly and a place I haven't even heard about. There's no perfect solution, but I will not complain, no matter where I am. I know it will all work out.


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