I went into this field just this semester, after starting off in speech therapy in the fall of 11. I was a legal secretary and legal transcriptionist from 1988 – 2011, and am a parent of 3 and wife of my husband for 25 years (this summer!). So, after I entered speech therapy, which was about the 6th decision I’d made on a major in the 25 years since I graduated college the first time, I was told by our Phonetics teacher that of our group of about 150 students in the class (yes, it was in an auditorium) that probably only about 10-15 of us would actually make it into the speech therapy program, which really starts as a master (you cannot get a job as a speech therapist with a bachelor’s degree). The competition is that stiff, and you have to really have a 3.7-3.8 average.
I always held between a 3.35, 3.5 throughout college, even in the 80’s, so I felt a little uncomfortable about that. I spoke to a counselor and she is also a friend, our oldest, Chris’s speech therapist from a center he went to in elementary school (Chris is now 21). She advised me that perhaps I would like to do what she did, that she decided to obtain her special education teacher degree first, and then go back and get the master’s in speech therapy. So I did change majors then, also to my surprise receiving a generous TEACH grant, which I didn’t know existed and SHOULD enable me to keep going without loans (I had unfortunately taken loans for about 2 years, the only loans I’d ever gotten in college). So that was an unknown blessing and a great one! I just have to keep my average above a 3.2 and the TEACH grant will not have to be repaid.
I have another blog at www.criscollrj.com, but I wanted to start a blog specifically for teaching and autism and deafness, and other comorbidity topics, and hope to start discussions on items in this educational field. I am taking a democracy and education class right now where I am learning things about education that I never knew before, some of which are very negative. I plan to periodically blog about these things, as I read them. I suppose the first thing I will mention is how appalled I was in learning just how uneven the schools in the United States are, and how ill equipped and unprepared, both for typical learning students and special education students. It seems a revolution is necessary in many areas, where it seems we’re going backwards in how students are learning, how they’re tracked, and what options they truly have after they graduate. How will we handle covering everything for both typical students and special needs students? How do we help close the gap between rich and poor? Minority and non-minority? I have only read a few books so far, for this class, but I will keep my eyes and ears open, and try and look at both sides of the issues.