Curiosity, Dialogue, and Knowledge
When I first started studying Speech-Language Pathology, I had no idea what I was really getting into. I knew that the public school arena and teaching wasn’t really what I wanted to do after getting all but my minor in it and spending about 20 hours observing it. In my heart, however, I’ve always wanted to teach or be part of inspiring others to learn. Like most people who have this sort of compulsion, I had plenty of good mentors along the way that inspired me. My English teacher in high school, Mrs. Bergman; my history teacher in junior high, Mr. Moye; and many others along the way helped make me believe in the importance of education. They gave me the fire and the desire to teach myself. This of course, is the best gift any teacher can impart.
Back to being an SLP. My first job working as an SLP took me out to Yuma, Arizona. I learned a lot from working at the rehabilitation hospital were I was exposed to a huge amount of new information. I was getting extra training and certifications, making great connections with people in the AAC community, learning about out-patient therapy, and developing skills for writing more technical reports and daily notes.
All of that was fine, but what really shaped me as an SLP was one fantastic mentor: Jennifer Breen. She taught me the importance of education, communication, and collaboration better than anyone had before. She tied it all together.
I think that if you haven’t been fortunate enough to work with an individual like Jennifer, then you won’t know what I’m really talking about. But one of the main reasons that this site exists, is because I want to promote those title words. I want to light a fire in others through education and through my own desire to learn more about this field.
I’ve seen people, however, who were very educated, but had little in the way of communication or collaboration skills. To shape others, to bring positive change in someone else’s life, we cannot simply hoard the wealth of knowledge that we’ve been given – we have to communicate it. To continue to learn and refine our own skills, we must collaborate. To be effective therapists, we must collaborate with as many people who will willingly join into a collaborative partnership. We must include: teachers, case-workers, social workers, doctors, professors, students, family members, co-workers, and most importantly the patients themselves. This is what my mentor taught me. Thank you, Jen.
I leave you one book for further reading if your interested: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.
In the spirit of this post, I will leave my suggestions to a minimum (since I’ve already made a lot above!). Instead, I’m asking for your suggestions. Please comment here and throughout the site. Leave suggestions for improving the site, for therapy tips, for tips on collaboration, or any ideas that you feel would be beneficial.
Thanks for reading the blog. Stay tuned for more.