- What made you get into this profession? When I was in high school I was a peer-tutor for the special education class. I often assisted the SLP during her sessions with the students. I also was an assistant coach for Special Olympics, which cemented my desire to work in special education. I knew the day I walked up to Hardin Simmons University that I would be an SLP some day!
- What school did you go to? I started my college career at Hardin-Simmons University in 2001! I finished with Master’s Degree in December 2009 at West Texas A&M University.
- Are you a parent? If yes any advice to working moms/dads on how to balance both (i.e. tricks of the trade, time management suggestions, etc.) I am a mother to a ten year old boy and a step-mom to nine and eleven year old boys. Our middle son has Asperger’s, so I also get the parent’s perspective too (he has had speech, OT, and other therapies). My best advice is to find a place to work where you don’t have to take home a lot of paperwork (I would ask that in the interview!). So many SLPs do not get paperwork time in their day and that is stealing time away from their families! I am blessed to have a job where I can get almost all of it done within the working day.
- Dog, cat, or other? Please feel free to share pets and names. Dog. I have a Boston Terrier named Fannie who is my best friend. She and I are inseparable! I even tried to get her certified as a therapy dog (so she could come to work with me) but she failed (too hyper). LOL I have been pegged as the crazy dog lady (and I am OK with it!). She has her own hashtag on Instagram! ha ha Check it out #fanniemorene
- One mistake (or more) you made as a newbie speechie. My biggest mistake as a newbie was not asking for help enough! I felt so much pressure to know it all and I when I didn’t, I would spend countless hours in textbooks or research articles figuring it out. Please don’t do that, ask an SLP in your building for direction! You have an SLP supervisor for a reason! You don’t have to impress everyone all of the time with all of your knowledge, our profession is huge, its okay to need a little help!
- One tip on collaborating with other professionals or parents. If you are working in a school, send newsletters with your progress notes. I also try to get parents’ email addresses if I need to send them a quick note! It is easier at an outpatient clinic, a home health program, or an early intervention program because you see the parent every session. It takes effort in the schools to regularly communicate with parents, but parents play such a huge role in carry over skills (it’s worth it!).
- One goal (professional or personal). One of my professional goals is to get my bilingual certification (English/Spanish). I am currently refining my skills through several programs and I even have a teacher in Mexico that I Skype with once a week! I can communicate in Spanish functionally now but I want to be more fluent!
- Product you are most proud of.
Language Blocks has been my most reviewed and purchased product. I think it is so popular because of the amount of language objectives I included! It is a simple way to use Jenga or Tumbling Towers blocks in a new way that is less frustrating (less tower crashes) and directly therapeutic!
- Why you decided to be an entrepreneur and make the products that you do. I started making speech therapy materials in graduate school to use with clients/students in my clinical practicums. When I discovered Teachers Pay Teachers I was thrilled that I had a way of sharing my creations and also making a side income! I also love sharing ideas on my blog and social media!
- Please give a snippet of the products/services that you produce. My TPT shop, Panda Speech, has a variety of resources for SLPs and teachers. My specialties are interactive books, no-prep materials, game companion mats, and seasonal materials.
Check her out at these places as well…
pages for each of the following skills (24 coloring pages total) in a fun back to school theme.→ Categories
Each page has 10 word targets and 6 phrase level targets!
Each book has a comprehension activity at the end to reinforce the concepts. This is a very engaging and fun element for the students.
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