Change, Choice, Chance, Challenge An SLP reconnects with her inner graduate student—by making a career change to teach. First Person/Last Page
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First Person/Last Page  |   February 01, 2018
Change, Choice, Chance, Challenge
Author Notes
  • Bridget Allen Chapman, MA, CCC-SLP, is a clinical assistant professor in The Ohio State University Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic in Columbus. chapman.763@osu.edu
    Bridget Allen Chapman, MA, CCC-SLP, is a clinical assistant professor in The Ohio State University Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic in Columbus. chapman.763@osu.edu×
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Professional Issues & Training / First Person/Last Page
First Person/Last Page   |   February 01, 2018
Change, Choice, Chance, Challenge
The ASHA Leader, February 2018, Vol. 23, 72. doi:10.1044/leader.FPLP.23022018.72
The ASHA Leader, February 2018, Vol. 23, 72. doi:10.1044/leader.FPLP.23022018.72
In the past, fall meant circle times that started with a focus mantra: “One, two, three, eyes on me!” “Criss-cross applesauce!” “Come back to me, kids!” “Get ready, something awesome is coming!”
But this year, the fall started differently—with a focus mantra for myself. A focus to educate and to inspire my audience, which no longer is seated in a circle of cube chairs. They are adults on a journey to become speech-language pathologists.
This fall I made a change, and it was big. I went from working as a school-based SLP to serving as a clinical assistant professor at a university. Initially, I was overwhelmed by the prospect of starting over. But the benefits far outweigh those trepidations, and I love my job.
I have reignited my passion for the profession and found a renewed purpose in helping graduate-student clinicians on their paths. I am privileged to work daily with enthusiastic, energetic, inquisitive students, and to support them as they navigate through their first clinical experiences.
Change and choice are some of the greatest benefits in speech-language pathology, and we have the freedom to choose the route to take. Some people enter the field knowing where they want to work and with whom, but for others, the decision is daunting: Adults or pediatrics? Medical? Outpatient? Early intervention? Schools? Private practice? How do we decide and how do we mentor those who are developing their careers? When do we decide to make a change?
I have asked these questions at multiple points in my own journey. When I was leaving graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh, I decided that pediatric outpatient was my path. I did my clinical fellowship at the Columbus Speech & Hearing Center and stayed there for four years. I then became interested in school-based intervention, and spent four years as a clinician for the Olentangy (Ohio) Local School District, where I developed a professional interest in fluency disorders.
Each step in our professional path teaches us something about ourselves and the profession: Small choices can add up to big changes, and every client and student has influenced my learning and development as a clinician. The most challenging clients and most difficult meetings have taught me how to endure, how to search for the positive, and how to appreciate what we so often take for granted.
As the years pass, it becomes easier to go on autopilot and lose the passion we had as graduate students. I encourage every SLP to keep your dreams alive—no matter where you are in your career—and reconnect with your inner graduate student, the person full of passion, energy and an open mind!
Change, choice, chance and challenge are out there waiting for you!
1 Comment
February 15, 2018
Lauren Bender-Stringham
Thank you!
As a current graduate student, having professors like you really help to ease our anxiety about getting into the real world!!
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FROM THIS ISSUE
February 2018
Volume 23, Issue 2