I just wanted to give you a quick little update on my first full week at work! So last week I did three days of training (2 hours each afternoon after ESY let out) and this past Monday I started being full time! I am super excited that I have landed my first big girl job with a salary, benefits and the whole nine yards. It’s so comforting to both myself and my fiancé that I have this job right out of graduate school (and I still technically have more school left due to my thesis!) because he is pursuing his dreams and we will only have my income in the spring when he has to do his student teaching. We now feel confident that we won’t have any difficulty paying rent or any extra little things that we want to do each month and I’ll be able to [slowly] start paying off some of my loans already. Even though I had my fair share of struggles in graduate school, I definitely don’t think I would have gotten this job without it (a bachelors in Psychology doesn’t get you very far unfortunately) and I am so thankful for the support of my family and friends throughout the process that helped to push me to pursue my dream career path as soon as I could. Even though I’ve racked up a lot of student loans because I went straight from undergrad to graduate school, I don’t think I could have stayed motivated if I took time off and I probably wouldn’t be as far along in reaching my goals as I am now.
That all being said, I absolutely love my new job so far (it’s only been a week so I don’t have much to go off of just yet). The girl who trained me is going off to school to become a physical therapist and I am currently taking over her entire caseload for the remainder of the summer (approximately 8 kiddos). It’s a lot more than I was taking on when I was doing in home therapy (3 kids) so I was definitely overwhelmed with how many different programs I had to remember and which kid had which programs. It’ll take me a little while to get used to everything, but the kiddos are all awesome and I’ve done a lot of pairing with them in the last week so I at least became a familiar face to them before I start working with them one on one.
For the summer, I am working 40 hours a week which is being split into 10 hour days Monday thru Thursday and I get Fridays off until the fall schedule comes out and then it’s possible my days will become 8 hours, 5 days a week. I am loving having 3 day weekends for summer to relax a little and have some extra time to myself after a week full of kiddos. All of my co-workers are super nice and helpful, which puts me a little more at ease going into next week. They have all offered to help me out if I need anything as I adjust to the new kids and figure out all the programs which I am so thankful for.
This past week was definitely a lot to take in but there was lots of smiles and laughter along the way. A lot of the kids I’ll be working with are vocal verbal, which I am not as used to. I typically work with kids that have a communication device or use a picture exchange system or sign language and have very little vocal abilities to communicate their wants and needs. Having kiddos that can actually talk and give sass to me is a new experience and it’s definitely hilarious. When one kiddo was told to ask me two questions to get to know me, his first question was if I go potty on the toilet (this was from a 10 year old). I am sure I will have many stories to tell just from what comes out of these kids’ mouths (I actually think I might try to write down quotes somewhere).
I am so excited to start working with all the kiddos and see them progress as they get older. My first week was a whirlwind of emotions and kids running all over the place and my 10 hour days didn’t even feel that long. I will definitely be posting more job updates as they come!