Surviving your clinical fellowship year in the schools
Categories: Increase Your Effectiveness - Tips for SLPs
For many SLPs, the CF year can be a rough one. After surviving my first few months as a CF in the schools, I thought it might be helpful to share some of my observations and experiences.
Things I wish I had known:
- Save your materials from graduate school! The earlier you start your material repertoire the better.
- Try to start developing a system to organize your materials (by disorder, by book title) from graduate school so that you can easily access them later.
- If you are planning to work in the school system, attend as many Individualized Education Planning (IEP) meetings during graduate school as possible. These meetings can be complicated. Get acquainted with the information that is presented during these meetings.
Things I’ve learned:
- Asking questions is a good thing. This is not graduate school. You don’t have to be afraid of not knowing the answer.
- Developing a consistent routine for your students is key. The behaviors of some of my most unruly therapy groups have finally improved after implementing a consistent routine.
- Everything will get easier and faster. Some things that took me several hours in the beginning of my CF year now take a fraction of the time.
Rebecca Eagleson, Bilinguistics Clinical Fellow
I think you hit it in the nail! That is great advice. I would also add patience! Every school year is different, schools are different, districts/counties are different and have different rules. So, if you work at a school in certain county/district, and next year you move, it will probably be very different! So just be patient! 🙂
Thanks so much for your additional input. Patience is key for your CFY year. The year will be filled with many new adventures, and the best advice is simply to walk through the novel experiences. What will seem foreign will come second nature. Again, thanks for your thoughts.