Joel’s Story: Speech-Language Pathologist

August 7, 2023By: VocoVision

Providing teleservices is a career that can create a meaningful impact on children all over the country. At VocoVision, we have a team of telepractitioners that have different interests, come from different backgrounds, and all decided to land in teleservices for different reasons, but their impact remains the same – they can help children reach their full potential from around the U.S.

In this blog, we feature Joel’s speech-language pathology story including their experience, advice, and what led them to become Teacher of the Year.

What made you get into education?

I love making meaningful connections with families and students, and working in tandem with other educators! I’ve always been drawn to occupations that are intellectually stimulating, and allow me the opportunity to be a source of compassion and empowerment for others. 

Speech-language pathology is the perfect combination of these elements. It’s exciting to discuss neurogenic and the physiological components of speech and language, as well as a student’s academic performance and learning style, their personality characteristics and specific interests, observations about their progress, and anecdotes about their sense of humor… all in the same meeting.

What advice would you share with people who are interested in becoming an educator?

Be you! Each educator brings a unique blend of perspectives, experiences, and strengths to the classroom. This means everyone finds their own distinctive way of maximizing their effectiveness. Over time, I have found I’m most successful when I implement interventions in a manner aligned with my own personal values of being compassionate, conscientious, and thoughtful. 

Taking the time to identify yours may make it easier for you to be your natural self, and use the skills, passions, and approaches that make you who you are. They will likely be different from many of your peers, and that’s a good thing! This will allow you to build a collaborative team with a varied, complementary skill set.

An educator’s day is typically fast-paced and busy, rarely leaving much time for detailed self-assessment, debriefing, or catching your breath, Sometimes it helps educators to pause every now and then, to reflect upon the value of their contributions, and remember the importance, and responsibility, of making a positive impact in the lives of others!

What do you think your biggest strength is as an educator?

In my experience, students respond well to sincerity. Children take notice when you have a genuine interest in, and concern for, their psycho-emotional development, academic success, and overall well-being.  Every child deserves a voice, and making someone feel heard can be life-changing for them.  

How do you keep your students motivated?

Our sessions are energetic, enthusiastic, and filled with encouragement! Building rapport, and developing supportive therapeutic relationships with students, helps them feel comfortable, and open to challenging themselves. This also allows me to jam-pack sessions with activities and interventions uniquely tailored to each student, which helps keep students engaged.

However, being actively responsive to the way a session unfolds can sometimes mean veering away from those detailed lesson plans. Real-time assessment of the effectiveness of an intervention relies on flexibility, often demonstrated by being ready to shift gears at a moment’s notice, or by digging deeper into a particular therapeutic approach when a student responds well to it.

Why do you think you were chosen as a teacher of the year candidate?

I was completely astonished when they shared this with me… it never occurred to me that this could be a possibility! I have always believed teachers and education administrators are the unsung heroes of our time. I admire and am inspired by them each day, so I was humbled and moved to be recognized by them. I am very grateful, and honored, to be part of such an incredible team!

Can you talk about your experience contracting with VocoVision?

Working with VocoVision has been such an incredible gift! VocoVision provides a fantastic clinical foundation and platform, which is constantly expanding to include more intervention and assessment tools. 

VocoVision’s arrangement for service provision has helped us develop a “Speech Team” of fantastic facilitators at my school, who further reinforce and spread awareness of our interventions while maximizing the number of students who are able to receive treatment each day.

The ease of access to clinical tools, and VocoVision’s approach to service delivery, help make telepractice extra effective in many ways. I am able to see more students in a day, lead sessions with smaller group sizes and increased individual attention, and utilize more resources during the day, which, in turn, allows for therapeutic tasks to be increasingly personalized to each student.

VocoVision staff members are the absolute best! I have received so much support and kindness from team members who regularly reach out to check in with me, and are always available in a pinch to troubleshoot unique challenges. VocoVision’s relationship-building with school districts has helped foster a positive and beneficial working dynamic between teletherapists and educators in my school district and has paved the way for me to be a completely functionally integrated educator at my school. I am thrilled and grateful that VocoVision has made all of this possible!

To learn more about how our speech-language pathology services can benefit your students and school district, click here.

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