Meet Melissa! The founder and creator of the Speech Therapy Store.
Why I Became a Speech-Language Pathologist
In preschool, they told my parents, “We think Melissa is colorblind.” All because I didn’t know my colors. They soon came to realize that I wasn’t colorblind after all, but in fact that I just didn’t care about learning my colors.
On a positive note though they did inform my parents that I did a great job riding my bike at recess and that I also went out of my way to play with a mentally disabled student in the classroom while most other students simply ignored or stayed away from the little girl.
Then in elementary school, I was placed in the lowest reading group. I was so far behind that my parents scraped up the money to pay a private reading tutor once a week to work on my reading skills with me.
I remember dreading going to the reading specialist. In fact, I dreaded it so much that one day I had head lice and I remember being SO excited because that meant I didn’t have to go to the reading tutor that day!
Then when I got to high school I started to volunteer in our emotionally disturbed classroom. The teacher assigned me to help a young man who was struggling in school. I helped him with his homework and then when we were done we would play board games together and talk about life. One day the teacher came up to me and asked me if I had ever considered something like this as a profession. I was surprised by his comment and simply replied, “no”.
He then told me that I should think about it and that I was truly making a real difference in the young man’s life. A young man who refused to work with most other adults and peers. It was my senior year of high school when I decided I wanted to become a speech-language pathologist. I vividly remember being out on the soccer field telling my best friend that I had decided to become a Speech-Language Pathologist and she replied with, “You want to become a what?”
Knowing what it was like to struggle in school and my ability to build rapport with students who are also struggling filled me up with so much joy! And that’s my story to becoming an SLP.
I got my undergraduate degree in Communication Disorders and Sciences from the University of Oregon. I then continued on further to get my master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Nova Southeastern University.
My Career Path
The 2019-2020 school year was officially the mark of my 10th year as a Speech-Language Pathologist! It’s hard to believe that it’s already been that long. I have worked in the elementary, middle, and high school settings.
While I was in grad school I got my license to become an SLPA. So while I was in grad school part-time I also worked as an SLPA part-time in the elementary setting.
Then my first year out of grad school, during my CFY year, I was assigned the entire middle school and high school in my district which accounted for about 105 students. Let’s just say I ugly cried a few times that year to a fellow SLP. That’s exactly why I started creating my own lesson plans and creating year-long curriculums during my summers, before having kids of course.
I couldn’t have asked for a more AMAZING profession. I feel like I truly get to make a difference in the lives of students who are struggling in some area of learning. It is so rewarding to watch your students learn and grow!
My husband and I have made the very difficult decision for me to step down from my position in the school district for a few years to be a stay-at-home mama to our adorable 3-year-old twin boys Boden and Anders. Everyone says this time goes quickly and it does!
Our plan is when the boys start school in a few years I will return to my profession, but until that time comes I want to be a part of the profession that I know and LOVE and that is why I’m creating this blog for my fellow SLPs out there doing this job day in and day out. Even though I won’t be helping students personally my hope is that with my blog I can help other SLPs who are making a real difference in the world and are providing services to our students.
-Cheers, to making your life easier, one material at a time!