Remember how busy, confusing, and overwhelming your first day of class could feel when you were a kid?
When you’re brand-new in an entry-level school-based therapy job, you’re likely to experience those feelings, all over again!
Whether you’re transferring from some other clinical context or you’re a recent grad just starting your career, you’ll find the educational setting is unlike any other:
- Students’ strictly defined schedules can make delivering therapy services in a consistent, timely way a challenge.
- Constant and sometimes conflicting demands from classroom teachers, school administrators, and students’ families can leave you feeling pulled in too many directions at once, putting you at risk of therapist burnout.
- Each school building’s unique, complex culture is a maze of shared values and social connections in which you must make your place—and, if the culture isn’t healthy, decide where you can help make it stronger.
Fortunately, when you’re an entry-level school therapist with Pediatric Therapeutic Services (PTS), you have access to a tremendous advantage.
In our School-Based Academy, we’ve brought together EVERYTHING you need to meet these challenges (and others). It’s a multifaceted program specifically designed to jump-start your success in your first school therapy job and lay the foundation for your sustainable, satisfying career in the field.
PTS’ School-Based Academy: Setting You up for School-Based Therapy Success
Ever heard the saying, “Don’t reinvent the wheel?”
When we launched the School-Based Academy in 2017, we wanted to pull together all the resources independent contractor clinicians working with PTS could use to turn the wheels we know already work.
The SBA has grown each year since. Now it includes:
1. A Comprehensive Collection of Practical Resources for School-based Therapy
Our field has a lingo all its own: IEPs, MTSS, 504s, and more. And each term corresponds to a detailed, sometimes complex aspect of our profession. In the SBA, you get a handy binder full of important information and resources you’ll want to keep at the ready.
Whether you’re practicing Occupational Therapy (OT), Physical Therapy (PT), Speech Language Pathology (SLP), or another specialty, you’ll find checklists for evaluating students, tips and step-by-step templates for completing IEPs, guides for scheduling and documenting your daily work, and other resources to inform you and make your entry-level school-based therapy job easier.
You’ll also find an intro to PTS’ billing and data collection system. It does more than let you simply “clock in” and “clock out.” It helps you and the district where you’re serving get a clear picture of how you’re handling your caseload, and highlights ways to use your time and energy more efficiently. When you’re more productive, you’re less stressed and will find your job more fulfilling!
2. Focused, In-person Training to Deliver Therapy Services in Educational Settings
Each August, before the new academic year starts, you and your fellow entry-level school therapists gather for the SBA’s “bread and butter,” an in-person training seminar.
You’ll have opportunities to:
- Meet and Pick the Minds of PTS’ Management Team and the SBA Mentor
They’ll give you insider knowledge about what practicing therapy in schools is really like. No theory here—just straight talk from experienced therapists who’ve been where you are now!
- Practice Skills You’ll Need from Day One
From selecting the proper materials to writing S.M.A.R.T. IEP goals, from contacting the right school personnel to visiting websites with the most helpful resources (sneak peek: We love Sensational Brain, Pink Oatmeal, and SLP Now, among others), you’ll come away more confident in your ability to do your job.
- Network with Other School-based Therapists
Get to know professionals in the field, including some who could prove to be valuable career-long connections. Get to know other new school-based therapists, too. You’ll be sounding boards who can encourage and support each other, and will likely form lasting friendships.
Fall and spring follow-up events reinforce the foundation you receive in August. You’ll have time to reflect with your peers on how the job is going, celebrate the progress you’ve made, and pick up even more skills to speed up your success.
3. Year-long Mentorship and Support in the Ways that Suit you Best
The best part? Even as an independent contractor, you are not alone! As part of the SBA you get the chance to work with a mentor who’s also a PTS independent contractor.
You choose the format your mentorship takes, based on what best suits your needs and your schedule: in-person meetings (at your site or at a central location), Zoom calls, or ongoing email correspondence.
However you communicate, your mentor will help make sure your first year as an entry-level school-based therapist can be one you look back on with pleasure and pride, knowing you rose to the challenge and grew as an even more capable and confident practitioner.
PTS Invests in Entry-Level Therapists to Create In-Demand Clinical Experts
The demand for special education and related services is growing, but it’s harder and harder for schools and districts to find qualified, quality clinicians to provide them.
For this reason, at PTS we do all we can to make sure our therapists exceed our clients’ expectations. We want them to know they can count on us to send them therapists who are committed to doing the most good they can, for as many students as they can, as efficiently and effectively as they can.
The School-Based Academy is just one way we invest in you, the new school-based therapist, so you can be that kind of exceptional, in-demand clinical expert. Interested in joining our team? Check out our currently available part-time and full-time school-based therapy positions: