Thursday, January 5, 2012

Finding My Place as an OT

In NY-- wait, let me back up.

How I became an OT (occupational therapist) starts before my older sister started college-- or maybe grad school, I don't remember which. She wanted to be a physical therapist (a PT), so I said, "Yeah, that sounds good. I'll be a physical therapist, too." So I decided to study physical therapy (PT) (not knowing much about it, just that people who hurt themselves or had strokes went. Like my Grandma, after she had a stroke).
I applied for a joint 5-year undergrad/graduate program in PT and got in. But I would have to take physics. People who know me know that math and I don't get along too well, and I won't do math if I can avoid it. Physics...math...pass. So I looked into occupational therapy (OT), because I didn't really know what the difference was (OT, PT-- there's a difference?) so I started talking to people and one OT told me that she had never met any OTs who wanted to be PTs but had met PTs who wanted to be OTs. That was a powerful statement to me so I decided to do OT. Volunteered, etc., got into OT school.

During OT school I decided that I wasn't going to work with kids, because I worked had with them enough and even though I was really good at it, enough. So I did my specialty in hand therapy and liked. I also really, REALLY liked working with stroke patients.

Fast forward to 2008, when I pass my OT exam and have to start looking for work. Decide to work in the school system because I get summers off, and it's with kids...and I work well with kids. I went to my first school and the other para-professional (OT, PT, SLPs) were fantastic to work with. The building not so fantastic to work in (as in, I got sick from the building). I transferred to two other schools and I was finally starting to find my place as an OT and feel like I knew something and I decided to make aliyah in the middle of the year. I went to ulpan and decided that for the next school year I wanted to work in the school system-- after all, I liked it in NY.

I tried to get in touch with the body of misrad hachinuch that deals with therapist placement but and all they said was, "Send a resume." So I went directly to misrad hachinuch to talk to them and got sent to a supervisor for special education. I explained to her what I did in NY and asked her about OTs in regular schools and she said that didn't exist and there were only special-ed only schools. So I went to a couple of schools. Didn't fit in too well, and it was just very tough to get into the system-- totally different than I was used to and thought. I stayed in one of the schools for this year and went to another school also.

I'm still not fitting in-- the principals don't see me differentiating myself as an OT in the school, bringing my qualities and.... I'm going to look into kupot cholim for next year, but I really want to work with special ed classes in regular schools. be continued...

Monday, January 2, 2012

Shloofy time

It's after midnight. I'm tired. I need to go to sleep, considering I haven't done enough of that since I got back to Israel about 4 days ago.

But I haven't updated in a while, therefore I would like to update to let you all know that I am alive and kicking.

Real update when I can focus. But hi, everyone. I'm still here.

Rather, I'm back here.