Program: Master of Education in Developmental Psychology and Education (DPE)
Expected year of graduation: 2021
What led you to apply to APHD at OISE?
I was encouraged to apply to APHD at OISE from one of the Speech-Language Pathologists (S-LP) that I work with. She recognized that I wanted to pursue higher education but I had not even considered this academic pathway. Upon doing research about this program, it actually seemed like a great fit for me. As an S-LP, I would be able to pursue my passion of providing speech therapy to children, but I feel like I would have been limited to report writing for the most part. In this program, I know that I will be able to integrate my current skills in the field for so much more than just report writing. I want to apply the knowledge I have and learn how to make the education system better for all children that require additional supports in various areas of their development across their academic journey.
What was your past work experience like?
In the past, I have worked as a technology trainer in the York School Board. That consisted of training school-aged children on the use of assistive technology devices to enhance their learning experience. It gave me a lot of insight on modification and accommodation practices in schools, and the various difficulties typically and atypically developing students face in school every day. Following that, I began my career as a communicative disorders assistant, providing speech and language therapy to the pediatric population. My clients range from individuals with developmental disorders, like Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to children with articulation errors. I also work with infants who are delayed in language expression. I have worked in this area for about 4 years.
Are there any past accomplishments that you would like to highlight?
I would like to highlight my work with my clients with ASD. I think that I have been able to make a major impact in both their home and school life. I really enjoy being able to interact with the educators in their life, because it ensures that consistent approaches are being used and that the goals that I work on are being generalized in other areas of their lives. The parents of these clients always update me on their progress, and are very happy with the progression their child is making. I also appreciate that when the child is struggling, the parents trust me enough to consult with me on any modifications that have to be made to the intervention or strategy. The trust and relationships that I have with the families I work with are so valuable to me because they are completely open to the advice that I give them, and are willing to try the strategies that I suggest. It makes a big difference to the overall service I can provide to their child.
What is one thing you like most about your experience so far at OISE?
One thing that I like most about my experience at OISE is being able to learn concepts that are immediately applicable to the current work that I do. This makes it much easier to understand these concepts because I can always find a client that I can connect the information to.
What is your favourite thing about Toronto?
My favorite thing about Toronto is the diversity of the people in the city. There are so many different people to meet and learn from, so the prospect of meeting new people is very exciting.
What does your “weekend” typically look like?
My typical weekend consists of tutoring and speech therapy sessions. I try to schedule most of my sessions on the weekend, so that I can dedicate the week to focusing on school and schoolwork. After my workday is done, I usually try to catch up on some of my favorite tv shows like SWAT and This is Us. I also try to spend some time with family, but with Covid, that mostly involves staying home and watching movies.
What are some of your hobbies & interests (cooking, sports, travelling, etc?)
I really enjoy reading books that are historically relevant to cultural issues. I also love books that have a lot of drama and mystery. When I was younger, I used to love reading Nancy Drew books. As I look to the future, I am really interested in travelling. I have spent most of my 20s working or in school, so I can’t wait to dedicate my 30s to travelling and exploring new places, even if it's within Canada!
What is your favorite type of cuisine?
I do not really have a favorite cruisine. I have favorite cultural foods. My favorite is Jamaican food, and the second runner up is Thai food.
Where do you see yourself after you achieve your degree from APHD?
After I achieve my degree from the APHD program, I see myself continuing to provide speech therapy to children. In addition to that, I would like to obtain a position consulting with teachers on how to modify their classroom environments and approaches to better support the students in their classes with exceptionalities. In this role I want to help teachers develop their programs and strategies, and model certain approaches for them so that they feel more confident in implementing them. I also think that in order to help the entire child, all aspects of their life have to be integrated and supported. So, I would also like to support the families of these students by instructing them on how to use the same approaches that are used in school, at home.
My goal is to ensure that consistency is maintained in the student’s life, and that everyone involved is on the same page with the steps that need to be taken for the student to be successful. I am not sure what this job title will be, but I know that that is what I want to do.