Working in public schools has many pros. I currently work in a school and I am LOVING it! After considering all the pros and cons, it works best for me at this point in my life.
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Schools offer a FANTASTIC schedule compared to other settings. Summers off, holiday breaks, and no evening hours are important to me since I have a little one at home.
2. Team Environment
Compared to other settings I have personally worked in, professionals seem to be the most collaborative in schools. This has been my personal experience though. Of course, every job is different!
3. More evidence of carryover
Targeting goals in the classroom increases chance of carry-over. This is missing from private practice and outpatient rehab.
4. No Productivity!
This one speaks for itself!
5. Overall, less stress
This is PURELY subjective. Currently, my job in the public schools has been the least stressful compared to all my other jobs. I can't pin down the exact reason, but I'm NOT complaining!
6. Working with children
Who would have thought (not grad school me) that my passion is working with children? But, it is! This is a BIG plus for me!
The paperwork for IEPs is LENGTHY and tedious. There is a lot of red tape, boxes to check, specific formats to use... Lots of time is spent on this and I'd rather spend it working with students. They are not that readable for parents either.
2. Less flexibility with assessment
Formal assessments only happen every three years. I understand the reasoning behind it and even agree with it. BUT, I like to use testing as therapeutic assessments, a big difference!!
3. Update goals only once per year
I prefer to update goals more frequently then once per year. For language especially, it is hard to predict and write an accurate goal that spans one whole year. Student's language skills are complex and change quickly.
4. Large treatment groups
Group size for therapy can exceed 4 or 5 students. Due to schedules and other factors, some children are grouped together who have VERY different goals. This BOTHERS me a lot!
5. Less contact with parents
Contact with parents tends to be limited to IEP meetings and conferences. I have seen the benefit of home programs and constant contact with parents. This is missing from schools. However, you do have access to their classroom which is a huge bonus!
Do you more pros or cons to share? We would love to hear them!