SLP Work vs Teachnig

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Chris in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

55 months ago

I have approximately 5 classes left until I complete my BS in Communication Disorders. I have taught high school english abroad for a couple of years and enjoyed many things about it, and did not like some other things. For one, the interaction with the students was very fulfilling. I am good at teaching and made connections with students that I will always remember. I still keep in touch with a few of them. What I did not like was the repetition of teaching larger classes, the workplace politics, and the inflexibility. After I left teaching, I tried my hand in the business world for a bit and subsequently figured that becoming an SLP would offer me the best compromise between pay, flexibility, and hopefully fulfillment. I love my science classes (Anatomy and Speech Science) and find the classes that are less science oriented a bit tedious.

I'm trying to figure out if I should continue to become an SLP or if the compromises that must be made to be a teacher are worth the few instances of student connection that may occur in smaller classes. I miss teaching, but I know that this feeling may only be because I am so far removed from it. I want to love Speech Pathology, but I am very nervous that once I complete my schooling that I will never regain that feeling of fulfillment that I occasionally had with teaching. Considering the time involved, its a large risk. I also feel that I had legitimate talent as a teacher that I wouldn't want to waste if that is what I am best at. However, if I could have the best of both worlds (perhaps working as an SLP in a school) I guess that would be my best option. However, I'm not sure if the time spent with each individual speech impaired students in schools is enough to fulfill me. Would I get to know them and legitimately be able to impact their lives?

......

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Chris in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

55 months ago

...cont'd:

More than anything, the fact that I need to spend 3 years to find this out, vs one year getting a Masters degree in teaching worries me. If anyone has any insight into the contrast between SLP work and teaching, perhaps if you have done both, then I would very much appreciate it.

Thanks for reading.

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Caroline in Lithonia, Georgia

55 months ago

Chris in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said: ...cont'd:

More than anything, the fact that I need to spend 3 years to find this out, vs one year getting a Masters degree in teaching worries me. If anyone has any insight into the contrast between SLP work and teaching, perhaps if you have done both, then I would very much appreciate it.

Thanks for reading.

Chris,
I started out as a nurse then worked in the schools with my bachlors in Speech. Now with my masters degree I work in a rehab setting with adult stroke and brain injury for communication and swallowing disorders. I love being an SLP because we have soooo much flexibility. If you love teaching then as an SLP you can "teach" at every age level and in all types of settings. You'll have the option to work with children or adults, in edcational or clinical environments. If you have experience in ESL then you would probably love teaching accent reduction.

I took the "Strong Interest Test" at my university counseling center to help me discover options for careers and amazingly the test results fit me exactly. I love my career because I am a teacher, nurse and therapist all rolled into one. The best part of all is that there is a HUGE demand for SLPs right now so even in this economy we can always find work.

Best wished on your decision.
Caroline

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Marissa in Laguna Niguel, California

49 months ago

Hi Chris,

I am a teacher in CA who is thinking about becoming a SLP.

I think if you found teaching to be repetitive then you might really find slp to be repetitive! The SLP I have observed are constantly repeating drills/sounds with students. I think it is much less exciting than working in the classroom. However, I think it would fit my personality more working one-on-one or in small group setting. Managing the classroom is tough for me and working with students whole group is not my ideal (especially in large classes/upper grades).

Also, politics will always be there if you are a school slp or teacher. Some of the public school spl are just as worn out as the teachers...some of them more. Public school spl can have very large case loads and from what i have heard the paperwork they have to complete for the children is at an all time high. Many of them have spl assistants that work with the children so they have time to do the testing/analyzing/paper work etc. It is a trend for public school to start hiring slpa and have fewer spl (this is in southern ca)

BUT with slp you can always go in private practice or work at a hospital. What environment do you see yourself in? You can also get away from the politics of teaching if you went to a private school. Also, you have to consider the subject..perhaps if you are passionate about history, literature, and love lecturing, doing activities on such subjects teaching would be the way to go. It is tough choice either way and many times the school, principal, district, student demographics, co-workers are more important than the job itself!

Best of Luck,
Marissa

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Marissa in Laguna Niguel, California

49 months ago

Also, Caroline is right...there is more of a demand for slp. I know many people who went into a one year teaching program (easy) and are trying to get a job. If you are good at networking, interviewing, and very ambitious you will find a teaching job. BUT, if you just want to be able to secure a position without the stress/competition then go for the three year spl program (more challenging/longer/and obvious the road less traveled).

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Cora in Nashville, Tennessee

48 months ago

Marissa, when you say 3 year SLP program, are you referring to people who didn't major in Comm Disorders in their undergrad? I'm considering choosing Comm Disorders as my undergrad major, but I don't want to do a 3 year master's degree on top of my bachelor's degree. I am already in my mid-late 20's and I need to graduate and get a good job ASAP. I am not the networking type at all... which makes SLP even more attractive to me. I have considered many, many majors, but I always come back to Speech Pathology.

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Cora in Nashville, Tennessee

48 months ago

Also, if it helps anyone on this board, my cousin is a SLP in a public school setting. She has had to move frequently because of her husband's continuing education and career. She has never had problems finding a job. She chooses to work in the schools because of all the time off. She does say the paperwork and caseloads can be high and stressful, but overall, she's really happy. She made a lot more working in a clinic, but the drawback there was that if a client didn't show up, she didn't get paid for that hour.

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APost in New York, New York

20 months ago

Can someone explain to me what the paper-work involves? Are they excessively long reports or basic note-taking? Or they forms that need to be filled out or is it like writing a paper (i.e. starting from scratch or is there a template that is followed)?

In terms of stress can you describe the difference in stress levels between an SLP, teacher or school psychologist? I am considering all there of these careers and its difficult to decide. I am definitely the type of person who would prefer one on one interaction over large groups but I also don't want to get bored. I would not be interested in working in a hospital or clinical setting. So if I did do an SLP program, I would only want to work in a school. Are school jobs readily available for SLP's? Are the salary differences between these three careers wide? I know teachers are usually employed 9 months out of the year and its my belief that SLP and school psychs work 10 months out of the year.

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VeeBee in White Lake, Michigan

16 months ago

I have been a school-based SLP for 13 years in a larger metro Detroit school district. I have never worked in a clinical setting other than during grad school. I also have my teaching certificate, as it was required at the time I earned my degree in order to work in a school, hence, I completed general education student teaching in my minor during my undergrad. The pros about my job are that it IS relatively flexible in that we can work in a variety of areas/grade levels. I currently work with K-5 kids and in a self-contained preschool classroom. Colleagues work with secondary students, post-secondary adults, in self-contained classrooms with autism spectrum kids, emotionally impaired kids, and cognitively impaired kids. This helps avoid burn-out. Although we don't work with the kids daily, we see them over a period of many years sometimes (which can be good and bad!). I love working with a team of knowledgable special and general ed staff as well. We work the same schedule as general ed teachers, and make the same as a teacher, or anyone for that matter, on the same pay step or beyond. The main con about my job is the PAPERWORK! It has grown substantially since I started: the IEPs, reports, progress notes, response to intervention (RtI),--the list goes on. I have friends with whom I graduated that initially worked in a clinic that have since switched to a school-setting.

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