Some of my Twitter #SLPeeps saw my news that I am leaving my Instructional Technology Specialist position as of the end of this year and returning to the full-time (mostly) Speech-Language Pathology fold. I am going to be taking over for the SLP who was originally my mentor when I came to my district, as she is retiring. When I heard of this opportunity, it just seemed elementally right for me, and it was also really important to me to stay in my district. I didn't really want to completely start over.
Still, it was a real struggle to make this decision. I have felt really torn in this past year between my position as an ITS and my feeling that, at heart, I am really a special educator and SLP. It feels like a clear calling, though it was tough to decide to leave the ITS position that I worked really hard to obtain and establish for myself. My supervisor, who is wonderful and has been very supportive of what I have been doing here with this blog, was very understanding and instantly ran to photocopy for me one of her favorite quotes;
You must always keep in mind that a path is only a path. Each path is only one of a million paths. If you feel that you must now follow it, you need not stay with it under any circumstances. Any path is only a path. There is no affront to yourself or others in dropping a path if that is what your heart tells you to do. ...ask yourself and yourself alone this one question. Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same. They lead nowhere. They are paths going through the brush or into the brush or under the brush of the Universe. The only question is: Does this path have a heart? If it does, then it is a good path. If it doesn’t, then it is of no use.
This was an enormous consolation to me, and really framed where I'm at. I feel my heart is in the field of Speech-Language Pathology, and it's not enough for me to follow that path in a very-part-time, "on-the-side" manner as I have been doing for 2 years.
As readers of SpeechTechie, you should know that your support of my little endeavor here played no small part in this decision. I will definitely be continuing to blog about technology, language, and helping all learners. In fact, I think that by being back in a school-based SLP position I will be more grounded and experiential in my writing here and elsewhere. I also will be immediately returning to supervision of Boston University SLP grad students, a role I have really missed.
In addition, this position, which is not completely full-time, will allow at least a day weekly for consultation work around technology integration in Speech-Language and other disciplines serving diverse learners. If you are at all interested in working with me for your organization or district, please check out my new SpeechTechie Services page!