The Human Connection

Teach ‘Em How To Say Goodbye: A Farewell to my Students

To my wonderful, curious, creative speech students,

I cannot believe I’m sitting down to write this letter to you all. By the time you read this, we will have had our last speech session together. I will have already told you that I am working in a different building next year, and that you will have a new speech pathologist in the fall.

It has filled my heart and soul to watch you grow as the wonderful people you are. Some of you have been with me since Kindergarten, and I’ve watched you progress through both grades and skills. Some of you I have known only for this year. All of you have made a lasting impact on how I approach therapeutic techniques, and that the “I” in “IEP” is all about you. I will forever hold in my heart every time you’ve made me laugh, made think, made me question myself. I have learned more from you than you will ever know. Among you there are artists, athletes, bookworms, scientists, diplomats, comedians, philosophers, and each one of you are so full of love and wonder and empathy. Please share all of these sides of yourselves with everyone you meet.

I have taught you skills that you’ve mastered, and skills you continue to work on. Your next speech pathologist will continue to help you, and may have a different therapeutic approach. I know you’ll give them the same patience you gave me when we started working together. If I’m very honest, this is the least important part of my work. The most important was making sure you felt that you could work and grow with me, while being yourselves, and allowing me to be myself. You have each been my greatest teacher. If you forget my name, that’s perfectly fine, because I’ll never forget yours. Please stop me when we’re out and about to say hello. It really is a perk of the job.

I know this was not something you expected to happen. Please know that I made this decision with the best in mind for us both, and that I am not leaving you. It is simply time for me to learn from other children, families, and staff members as well as share with them all that I’ve learned with you. I am always here to support you and you can always feel free to reach out.

My challenge for you for the rest of your speech journey: continue to be yourselves and play with your words.

Forever your speech pathologist,
Stef the StageSLP

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