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October 31, 2013

Speechie Evie Updates

So.... I've been absent from my blog for quite some time, but let me tell you... I've been quite productive in my small absence from my internet presence.  The great news is:


My career search began in mid-August, as my graduate school transcripts were processed and my degree was mailed.  To be honest, I wasn't quite sure where I was going to end up.  Ironically, the TN/Northern AL valley is kind of full of SLPs, probably due to the fact that a local university has a communication disorders program and routinely pumps out graduates to the region.  A saturated job market, coupled with employers hesitant to take on new CF clinicians made me quite nervous and frustrated.  About a month of solid job searching yielded only a few bites, but no concrete interviews, until I got wind of a position opening up within a local district.  I immediately applied, interviewed, and was offered the absolute job of my dreams.  Seriously.  It's as if my true purpose and calling finally found me. 

What's the gig? I am the new speech-language pathologist, CF-SLP, at a local intermediate school (4th, 5th, and 6th graders) and I am in heaven. It's only the one school, so I have minimal traveling... which I know is a luxury since I was used to traveling as an SLP-A from school to school to school and lugging therapy materials back and forth got seriously annoying.  My speech room is spacious and organized.  Here's what it looked like on my first day of getting settled in:

It's a start, right?

Cute, yes?  I added the lights on either side to soften some of the fluorescent, overhead lighting.  The room is so cozy and spacious! I have sinks! Can someone say... scripted/structured cooking and craft activities?!  My first few days at my new school were spent organizing, reviewing files and IEPs, and inventorying supplies.  Unfortunately, my new digs were light on Tx materials, but luckily I'd amassed quite a collection of things, either bought or made, during graduate school, so I had a good start for basic articulation, fluency, or language materials.

I packed my car to the hilt, drove to work on my second day, and.... it died. Right in front of the school in the child 'drop off' lane.  Embarrassing! I was so mortified, but luckily as it died, I was able to crank the wheel to the side and get my car to coast over to the side so people could get around me and still drop off their children.  The saddest part was that it would cost more to fix my car than it was worth... so... I did the next best thing:

I bought a new 2013 Toyota Camry. Right? New career, new life, new car! We had actually been thinking about upgrading my 2002 Ford Focus for awhile since she was dying a slow death, so we were ready to make the splurge on a new car for me.

After the new car issue was settled, I got to work in setting up and decorating my new speech room, and this is what I have so far:

What do you guys think?!  It's not finished yet but it is a start. I added curtains, a small rug under my work desk, a new comfy chair at my therapy table, fiesta papel picado banners, a bird theme with matching posters, and my colorful lamps. My students really seem to enjoy the space and so far my therapy, IEP's, and school events have gone quite smoothly in the month that I've been employed there.

Stay tuned for lots more to be shared about my new CF experience and setting up a new classroom! How do YOU set up a new classroom? Any tips or tricks for us newbies?  I'd like to compile a list of tips and tricks I thought of as I set up MY classroom, and I hope to start a 3-part series on new CF basics very soon.

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