Tuesday, March 24, 2015

So It Begins...

Welcome to Smashingly Good Speech! After starting my Teachers Pay Teachers store about a year ago, I've been making a ton of new games and materials for Speech and Language therapy. Some friends and fellow co-workers had mentioned that I should start a blog. So here I am! I'm hoping that starting this blog will keep me inspired to provide new, fun materials for my students while encouraging others to do the same. I would also love to join to world of speech and language bloggers - I think it could be such a great support system! As we all know, our job can be tough sometimes!

Anyway, I'll share a little bit about me. My name is Jessica and I have been an SLP for a few years at an elementary school in rural Illinois.

Unfortunately, this district also has a very high poverty rate. As a district, we are experiencing many budget cuts. In fact, many rural Illinois schools are fighting to keep their doors open as we experience more and more budget cuts. This motivated me to start making materials - since there was little money to buy them. I figured if I was making the materials, I might as well sell them. And that was how my teacherspayteachers store, Smashingly Good Speech, was born. It has turned into more than I ever thought and I have developed a love for making the materials. It definitely encourages me and inspires me to be a better clinician. Hopefully, the store will continue to grow - as most of the money I make from it is reinvested back into my students by buying other materials for them.

I graduated from Western Illinois University with a Masters in Communication Sciences and Disorders. I also minored in Spanish during my undergrad. Which came in handy as I started my current job. The district I work for now has a population of dual language learners that makes up about 40-50% of the student body. The majority of those students speak Spanish as their first language. We also have a growing French speaking population. This brings about a whole new set of challenges during assessment and treatment - but I love it! I service students PreK -4th grade, with the majority being in Pre-K While there are many challenges to my job, I wouldn't trade it for anything. My students continuously bring a smile to my face and my coworkers help make it the best place to work!

On  personal note, I live in a neighboring town to the district I work in with my husband and our two fur babies - Bridget and Molly. They are both rescue dogs - which is something I encourage people to do! In my spare time (Ha! What spare time?!), I love crafting, building/refinishing furniture with my husband (he's a carpenter), working out (so I can eat, eat, eat - especially Italian food!), and spending time with my family and friends.

Anyway, I'm just trying to be a better therapist and person with each passing day. And I hope you'll follow along with me on this journey!


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