So, I work in the school system now.
I know, it's a big change. But it's not like I had anything else going on, what with the moving, quitting another job, buying a house, and moving again. Late summer of 2011 is rivaling the entire summer of 2007 for most stressful time of my life... it has already surpassed spring/summer of 2002 and that is really saying something. (sidenote- why does all my stress come in the summertime?!) So to sum up, we moved from Baltimore to have a more stable home/family life, I tried to make it work at a job, and I finally got an offer I had been waiting for, so I made the switch. And I now know that you should NOT EVER switch jobs while trying to purchase a house. Loan people don't like that. It also ended up being a much more prolonged departure from one job to the next.
In 2002, or even 2004, or probably even much of 2007 if someone had told me that I would be working in the school system I would not have believed them. Until I had already taken my first job and kind of fell into the world of outpatient pediatrics, I really didn't know that I could find working with kids interesting, important, and fulfilling. I liked kids in short doses, but it wasn't something that I thought about doing for a career. That opinion played a BIG role in selecting the University I went to for OT... I was completely turned off by a big-time program because of what I felt was an overemphasis on pediatrics. I liked outpatient well enough, but never thought that I'd move to school-based therapy.
For the record, I'm pretty sure my mom brought up school system therapy back when I was still in high school, so as usual, YES Mom, you're right.
I haven't been working in the current situation very long, but so far I have just loved it. Great therapy staff and everyone has been very helpful as I get my feet under me. About a month in and I'm starting to get the rhythm. I think the biggest challenge is the scheduling... I have preschoolers that are only present 2 days/week, and then only for mornings or afternoons, travel between locations, meetings, all that jazz. It's coming together.
I love the resources that are available at work. Lots of different assessments, and multiple copies of the popular ones so you don't have to fight with anyone else to schedule testing. A variety of adapted writing tools and alternate seating surfaces that you can just give away as warranted. I think it's great not to have to jump through hoops to get things ordered or recommend something to the parent and make them have to order it.
Had a great weekend with the NBCOT crew, working on simulation questions. We literally go through each word to make sure that the questions are clear, not trivial, not tricky, and not biased. It can be intense, but I am glad to be with such a good group of people. I enjoyed the time in Memphis, particularly running by the Mississippi river, which I had not seen before. My only regret is not getting to go on a sternwheeler, but I didn't see the Proud Mary anywhere, so it's not like opportunities were abounding.
he house purchase process was overwhelming... which is an entirely separate post. (coming someday! I promise! Already started!) But I have been keeping with the recent change in focusing more on personal health and non-OT stuff for a change. I am still running (mostly regularly) with a 5K at the end of October. We've been hanging out with friends during the week more and settling into our crazy fall routine of traveling almost every weekend. Serious miles are in the near future at a time when rest would be most welcome... oh well. At least there should be fun times with friends upcoming.
I'm going to try not to neglect the blog too much, especially since people have been introducing me as the blog girl, and it would be bad form not to update. :) But patience is always appreciated.