Though I've had a lot of fun and games, I am in Alaska to work. I'm spending my morning at a middle school for a couple hours, then traveling to the elementary school to see younger kiddos. I'm seeing more than 45 kids each week--a small caseload compared to many other SLPs (speech-language therapists). Little kids love getting pulled out for speech class. They get to play games and I get to trick them into learning! Then, when they see me in the hall, they get excited and hug me or say with a big smile, "hey, I know you!" I like being that teacher. I've introduced myself as Mrs. Shannon. If I went by my last name, I'd be "Mrs. Wobuh, the thpeech teachuh" for those little guys who can't say "r", "l", or "s"!
But, it's not all working on "rrr..." and "lllll..." like many think of speech therapy (though much of it is). The trick is to make it fun, not just for the kids, because if I'm not engaged there's no way a first grader is either! Though each kid has different goals to target, today I primarily used story telling activities. We adapted the task to focus on story structure, grammar, speech articulation, or making predictions/inferences--depending on the group of kids. The ability to tell a story, communicate what happened to you yesterday, or fabricate a tall tale is so important for our relationships and daily lives. I like that I get to make small differences in these kids' lives.