Pediatric Therapeutic Services

Maria’s Story: A Day in the Life of a Special Education Department Director

At Pediatric Therapeutic Services (PTS), we know how hard Special Education Department Directors work to serve their students. Faced with a multitude of competing priorities and budgetary constraints, it can be challenging to find solutions that meet all these demands adequately, while also taking care of yourself to avoid burnout.

Today we want to share a story about Maria, a dedicated Special Education Department Director, whom you may relate to on a personal level.

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Committed to Putting Students First

Take one look at Maria and you know she is overworked and overstressed. Always in a defensive position, the role of Special Education Department Director is not for the faint of heart. Increasingly, behavioral, and mental health needs in students are taking front stage—it’s exhausting running from crisis to crisis. 

Making Magic Happen with Budget Limitations

After many years on the front line as a teacher, Maria has thrown herself from the frying pan straight into the fire. Now, she’s in charge of making the Special Ed department look good, something she’s good at doing.  

Always on budget, stingy with political capital, and saddled with an unpredictable caseload, the Special Education Department Director sets the course for the way special needs kids access education.  

Team Leader & Silver-Lining Finder

Maria's StoryShe oversees nurses, therapists, behavioral health providers, and a cadre of other health-related specialists that make up the department. Maria is the final decision maker on all things great and small in a thankless role. She is the one who has to break the bad news to school principals and relentlessly hunt for silver linings. She is in charge of granting proposals and setting budgets.  

Informed Decision Maker

Maria knows the true cost of making an uninformed decision. Saving pennies almost always costs more dollars in the end. She learned that lesson the hard way. Whenever she took the easy route or focused on the lowest possible common denominator from a service provider, she always regrets it later.  

Moving from Chaos to Control

So, despite only 24 hours in a day, Maria finds the time to get educated about the pros and cons of a program or partnership. She gets to know the pain points, key players, and trusted providers. Invariably, this is time well spent. The phones are quiet with no-news-is-good-news and people are working together to solve problems and stay compliant.  

Do More of What You Love with the Support You Need from PTS

When programs are self-sufficient, Maria can stop putting out fires and get back to the thing she loves about her job: running her department in the best way she knows how. 

When you partner with PTS, we act as an extension of your school or your district’s special education department—without adding more work to your plate. Contact PTS today to find out how you can help more students for less while also getting back to doing more of what you love.

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