Back in August, I started working two evenings a week at an outpatient clinic. Mid fall, I began working Saturday mornings as well. I fell in love with the one-on-one for an hour sessions. I felt like I could make progress with every child, especially the more severe ones.
In the meantime, I was going to my school-based position and sitting through eligibility after eligibility where students desperately needed help but were not qualifying. What made matters worse for me was knowing that I COULD help them if they came to the clinic, but according to state standards, I couldn't help them in the school. You see, my state uses the discrepancy model where a child's language score must be 22 points below their IQ to qualify under language impairment. True story: I had a child who scored a 55 on his language tests but did not qualify because his IQ was 73. So the language tests say he has a language impairment. My clinical judgment says he has a language impairment. But the state says no... (By the way, I fought for qualifying him using professional judgement, but it did not happen). As those kids weren't qualifying, my numbers were still high enough for my groups to be 3, 4, 5, or more kids. I was missing kids' minutes right and left because of this IEP meeting or that committee meeting. I didn't see them making as much progress as I knew they could. I tried my best to make up minutes, but it was impossible to make them all up.
So as you can see, my frustration was growing. On top of that, I fell in love with the field at an outpatient clinic in the first place. I knew God was leading my heart in that direction. So I had an honest conversation with the owner of the clinic about me transitioning to them full time after my school-year ended. She happened to love the idea, so a plan was put into motion.
So Friday, I said goodbye to my students, and today, I said goodbye to my co-workers and the building that has been my second home for two years. My tears are both happy and sad tears. Sad tears because I will miss coming to work and seeing these people. Happy because I have an awesome set of co-workers and clients ahead of me.
Today, I'm opening the door to new adventures. I'm excited to share it with you as I step into this new role.