Advanced School Staffing is proud to begin a School Therapist of The Month feature. It gives us a platform to recognize and appreciate the voices and stories of school therapists around the country. Whether they are travelers or local school contractors, these therapists bring their passion and expertise to students, and make an enormous difference in a short amount time for kids from all walks of life.
This month we are celebrating Taylor Wallace as July’s School Therapist of The Month. Nominated by our Lead Schools Therapy Recruiter, Elle Celestino, Taylor has been an incredible addition to our Schools team.
Taylor moved from Alabama to Florida right after graduation to do her clinical fellowship year in a FL school. With the ability to brush off the negative and stay focused on her career and her desire to experience life at its best, Taylor is already showing the signs of a true traveler and gifted SLP.
“Taylor is one of the most professional, upbeat, and positive people I have ever had the pleasure to work with!” – Lead Schools Recruiter, Elle Celestino
Get To Know Taylor
What drew you to pursuing speech-language pathology as a career? The funny thing is, whenever I was in undergrad struggling to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, I took lots of career tests and SLP was always on the top of my list of careers. I had no idea at the time what that was, so I usually ignored it. It wasn’t until I met a friend’s mother who was an SLP that I realized it was actually a perfect fit for me! “You mean there’s a job out there that lets me help people, and they actually PAY me to talk all day?” That pretty much sold me! I changed my major and I’ve loved speech pathology since!
Why did you decide on travel therapy as a CF? I decided on travel therapy for my CF because I knew I wanted to live somewhere other than my home state of Alabama, but I wasn’t sure which state I wanted to be in. I met some really great Advanced recruiters at the ASHA convention in Denver, CO that I kept in touch with. It just seemed like a really great opportunity to gain experience and explore new places at the same time!
How was your CF school assignment? What did you love most about it? My CF in a school was definitely an adjustment at first because I had done the majority of my clinicals in hospitals working with adults. However, once I got comfortable, I really started gaining my confidence as a therapist. I think the part I loved the most was the relationships I built with so many wonderful kiddos! Being someone they admired and looked forward to seeing each week for “speech class” motivated me to do my very best to inspire them and help them achieve their goals!
What is one thing you hope to accomplish as Traveling School SLP? I hope to become even more confident in my abilities, and to continue to have a role in a child’s life that is positive and beneficial. Whenever I meet someone that attended speech therapy in their younger years, they always say they remember going, and how much fun it was and how helpful it was. So, I hope my kiddos will say the same about me one day!
What has the biggest surprise been so far? I think the biggest surprise was how much I really did enjoy working with kids with special needs. From my clinical history, I didn’t have much experience working with children with autism, and I was definitely nervous I wouldn’t be an effective therapist because I wasn’t sure how to approach therapy. However, my ASD kiddos actually ended up being some of my favorite students. Watching them make gains throughout the year was so rewarding for me as a therapist.
What’s a fun fact about yourself? ? I am OBSESSED with dogs! If a dog passes me on the street, I have to pet it (with the owner’s permission of course)! My friends have this ongoing joke about me that my #1 quote is probably, “Will you take a picture of me and this dog?” No kidding, I have a collection of pictures at this point! They even say I’m somewhat of a dog whisperer because even dogs that don’t like new people usually like me! They are truly just great animals that are always excited to see you. I think anyone’s day is significantly improved if they come across a pup!