While certainly the most common season, Fall isn’t the only time to start a school contract. Many school therapists are unaware that some contracts actually start in the second semester.
By the time winter comes around, students have been in class for about four or five months, and teachers and staff have had the time to get an accurate assessment of current needs. In many cases, individualized education programs (IEP) have been established, which could result in an increase of current opportunities for specific professionals. In fact, the current shortage for school psychologists is felt across the country and is only expected to grow as greater focus is placed on the mental health of students.
Whether you are a speech language pathologist, psychologist, occupational therapist or physical therapist, it is worth exploring what second semester openings might be available especially if you have specific locations in mind for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year.
Taking advantage of a second semester contract is a great way to get your foot in the door at a district where you are interested in working. School administrators naturally want to hire therapists who they have direct experience with, and better yet if he or she is familiar with the current nuances of their school and students. This means that you’ll likely have first priority for the 2019-2020 if you are already working at the district and wish to stay for the year ahead.
Getting an extra semester in the location you’ve had on your list can be beneficial for several reasons. You’ll have more time to explore, meet friends and settle into your new home especially if you plan to take time off during the summer months. On the flip side, it could be just enough time to realize that maybe this isn’t the place you thought it would be, and perhaps you decide to reconsider your next contract locale.