This is the time of year when I can get in a slump. I’ve always loved my jobs in early intervention, but it’s just about now when I get a little jealous of teachers Toddler in Field with Flowerswho work in the school system and their countdown til summer break. When I was in grad school eons ago, that was one of the biggest “selling points” for becoming am early childhood special education preschool teacher – “you get your summers off!!” Back then, I was one of the very few (in fact the only one) in my class who chose a career in early intervention. I continue to maintain my teaching license and continue to hear echoes of that voice whispering about the preschool summer perk. Maybe you hear it too? If you do, take a moment with me to celebrate early intervention and all of its perks too!

Perk #5: You Aren’t STUCK in ONE SPACE All Day!

You aren’t stuck at a desk all day long – although I know there are some days when you would trade just about anything for a few hours to catch up on paperwork. You’re often outdoors, you get exercise moving in and out of the office, in and out of your car, up and downstairs to apartments, and all over the place during intervention visits. Those of us who love that kind of variety thrive in this job!

Perk #4: Everyday is a DIFFERENT adventure!

Everyday is different. Every intervention visit is different. Every family is different. Even from week to week, the children you support change. Every visit presents new challenges, requiring you to “think on your feet,” think creatively, and collaborate in innovative ways. It’s an ever-changing adventure!

Perk #3: It’s FUN!

Okay, let’s face it. What’s better than hearing an infant’s giggle, seeing a toddler take his first steps, or watching a parent help her child learn something new? Early intervention is a fun, heart-warming, and rewarding job – and you are lucky enough to do it!

Perk #2: Love the FLEXIBILITY!

I think one of the biggest perks is the flexibility. Most early interventionists are able to flex their schedules so that they can run a quick errand between visits (like going to the bank or stopping at the convenience store), or even to go to a doctor’s appointment or an event at their children’s school. Of course, this depends on your supervisor and program, but when it works, it’s a great thing.

Perk #1: You Have the HONOR of Witnessing the Growth of a Child & Family!

It is an honor to witness the growth and development you see across time and across environments. It’s one of the best parts of working with very young children and their families in natural environments – seeing them grow. It’s such a perk to be able to impact a child’s development through supporting the people who know the child best and see the child most. What an opportunity you have to be involved in the life of a very little person – a person who will one day grow up to be an adult who might just change the world. You just never know how far your work will reach…

Even though teaching preschool was not my path, I salute the preschool teachers out there who are doing amazing work, especially with those preschoolers who passed through EI programs. We’re all a big team and I’m proud to be a part of it. I’ll just have to keep that in mind the next time I see another post on Facebook from my teacher friends that says “two more days to go…” 🙂

What other perks of the job can you celebrate?

4 comments on “Getting Through the Summer Slump: 5 Perks of Working in EI

  • Lisa Kelly says:

    I just love having therapy sessions OUTSIDE, at the pool and at different parks! It is fun for me, the child and the entire family 🙂

    Reply
  • sarah Meagher says:

    Lisa Kelly, how do you convince families to session at the pool, even a baby one. I have one client I might try an out side session with this week at least a water table. But I have toddler and i started to take her to the pool this year and I just realized how many language opportunities there are. ALso ANyway have ideas about things to do with kids in the park or playground. When I go out with parents, we find the kids are so busy that we have trouble one keeping up with them and staying with them long enough to provide language and other development opportunities. I love the busyness of the summer and knowing I will have some sort of break in the fall. A lot of my kiddos go to school in the fall so it is wonderful to see the progress they have made since they started.

    Reply
    • That’s a great question, Sarah! If you see a baby pool in the yard, that could be a great conversation starter. You could also ask the family what they like to do, or what they would be doing if you weren’t there…and then schedule to do that with them for your next visit. If you’ve only ever done visits in the home, sometimes it can feel weird to ask families about other stuff they do, but you can use those conversations to learn more about the family so that the intervention strategies you teach the family are meaningful in lots of different familiar situations. It’s always more powerful to go join those other activities instead of just talk about them and plus, a change of scenery is great for everyone. Good luck and let us know how the water table session goes!

      Reply

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