Working skilled nursing and other medical placements, every weekday is a work day. That includes Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other federal holidays. Being in the school system you are guaranteed to have these days off, which is especially nice when your family lives in a different state. You have these vacations built in so you don’t have to request it off. Two weeks off for the holidays? Yes please!
You really get to be a part of and collaborate with a diverse team in the school setting: general education teachers, special education teachers, psychologists, other therapy disciplines, and outside providers. Collaborating with so many different views has challenged me to be a better speech pathologist and I have learned an incredible amount.
You have the opportunity to monitor your student outside of your therapy sessions when they are in their classroom or during different times throughout their day. You really have the opportunity to see how your student is doing in a more natural environment and make sure they are carrying over the lessons they are working so hard on in therapy.
In the schools you could potentially work with every division in speech pathology: cognition, articulation, social, language, swallowing, voice, augmentative and alternative communication, and fluency. You also could potentially see students from pre-school all the way to seniors in high school. Being prepared for the vast differences in age and diagnoses takes skill and preparedness as well as a SLP who is willing to continue to learn and better themselves as clinicians to provide the best treatments possible to their students. Every placement I had in the schools challenged me and made me a better speech pathologist. I have never spent so much time learning new therapy techniques as I have when working in the schools (and you would be surprised how many of these skills translate to working with adults in medical settings!).
1. You are the difference
Many insurances don’t cover speech services that are developmental or congenital (such as articulation or the treatment associated with autism), or if they do coverage is limited. Because speech services are expensive, many times the only place these students can receive the interventions they need is at school. You can be the difference maker between a child’s success or struggle. It is incredibly rewarding to be able to stand in the gap for these students and watch them grow and flourish with speech intervention.