Earning the Best Speech Therapist Salary

Becoming a speech therapist is an interesting and challenging career for anyone seeking a healthcare profession where they can both treat and teach at the same time while being a strong, positive influence on others.

The area of a highly detailed one requiring a substantial educational commitment, but the benefits in this profession are many.

Offering not only a chance for career advancement and specialization, but also a very favorable salary, practitioners are in demand right now.

Job outlook for healthcare professionals is very positive right now, and there are more jobs than ever before.

Speech Therapy Salary

Since speech therapy is a more specialized healthcare career that requires considerable education and training, practitioners are paid well.

According to the most recent salary information provided by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor statistics, the median salary for speech-language pathologists is approximately $67,000 annually, which is almost double the median salary of all occupations combined, at $34,000 annually.

The estimated salary scale includes a range of a low of $43,000 annually to a high of upwards of $103,000 annually.

Most practitioners were employed by state, local and private elementary and secondary schools, with the rest employed in private practice and a few in skilled nursing and with home health agencies.

According to job outlook information gathered over the last few years, it is expected that jobs will continue increase up to 23 percent, which is nearly twice as fast as the general employment growth rate overall.

Experience Matters

According to a 2011 salary survey done by median salary was $70,000 annually, with a range of $58,000 annually for practitioners with only 1 to 3 years of experience, to upwards of $90,000 annually for practitioners with over 30 years experience and practice administrators.

Skilled nursing facilities provided the highest salaries of up to $82,000 per year while practitioners working for outpatient clinics and in private practice earned an average of $65,000 annually.

Salary for practitioners in Canada seems to be fairly consistent with those in the US according to the most recent findings by Statistics Canada, and reports a median salary of about $75,000 CAD annually. Sixty percent of practitioners earned above $50,000 CAD annually, and main areas of employment were with hospitals and schools.

In the UK, NHS salaries for entry-level speech and language therapists begins at approximately £22,000 annually, but it is said that this rate is quickly raised to salaries between £25,000 to £34,000 annually once a practitioner has demonstrated skill in the field.

Senior speech and language therapists usually start at about £37,000 annually and can rise to up to £46,000. Principle therapists who are also managers may earn up to £58,000 annually. While these salaries are for practitioners working within the NHS, those in private practice may earn more.

How to Become a Speech Therapist

Anyone interested in a career will need to earn a Master’s degree in speech-language pathology in order to be qualified in the US and Canada (the UK requires at least a Bachelor’s undergraduate degree to enter the profession).

This involves four preparatory years of general education while earning a Bachelor’s degree, and then the completion of a speech-language pathology program that (CAA) to earn their Master’s degree.

Accreditation is overseen by the Royal College of Speech and Language Specialists (RCSLT) in the UK, and in Canada, by both the Canadian Accreditation of Service Programs (CASP) and (CACUP-ASLP).

Upon graduation, students are able to file for their licenses to practice where required, which includes almost all states and provinces in the US and Canada.

Graduates practicing in the UK must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Certification is optional to practitioners, but is highly recommended, especially for those seeking job advancement and specialty recognition.

Prospective students who may be interested in a career as a speech therapist are recommended to contact the professional organizations mentioned above to learn more about accredited educational programs and other learning requirements.

By attending the best educational programs, students will graduate well prepared for earning a competitive salary as they begin their new, exciting career

Prospective students who may be interested in a career as a speech therapist are recommended to contact the professional organizations mentioned above to learn more about accredited educational programs and other learning requirements.

By attending the best educational programs, students will graduate well prepared for earning a competitive speech therapist salary as they begin their new, exciting career

Speech Therapy Job Description Offers Great Diversity

Anyone who is interested in language, speech, and helping people in a therapeutic environment should consider a job as a speech therapist.

Also known as speech-language pathology, this segment of the healthcare services industry is more teaching oriented than anything else, although it does require the planning of therapeutic treatment along with other medical professionals.

The speech therapy job description is actually quite diverse however, offering talented individuals who are patient, compassionate and can view their work from a more medical point of view the chance to work with patients of all types, from children to older adults. Treatment options are varied, and specialization is an option, making it a wonderful career option in a more academic therapeutic environment.

What Speech Therapists Do

Verbal communication is one of the most unique and important traits that people have, although sometimes there are situations that prevent that communication. When people are affected by things that interfere with their ability to verbally communicate on a normal level, the services of a therapist can be very helpful.

Many times this means working with children who have developmental or learning delays, or are experience other conditions that have affected their ability to speak such as hearing problems, emotional issues and even physical problems like a cleft palate.

By working with these children on things like pronunciation, how to use their mouths and tongues to make words and how to control their voices, a therapist can be a huge asset in any child’s life, helping them to progress to a more normal manner of communicating with others.

Working with children is not the only job however, since there are many adults that need services as well.

This is especially the case with elderly patients who may be developing difficulties as they age, and from other developing problems like loss of hearing, or many times as the result of a stroke.

Patients who have experienced a stroke will sometimes lose their ability to control their voices or actually, physically speak; speech-language pathologists can be very helpful when working with these patients as they recover, so they can regain their normal ability to communicate with others.

Other Jobs in Speech Therapy

While children and older adults make up a large portion of the patients that speech therapists work with, they may also work with patients of any age who are mentally disabled, those who have sustained a brain injury that has affected their ability to speak, and those who are experiencing emotional traumas preventing them from speaking.

In a more academic and less therapeutic manner, speech therapists may also work with students of all ages who are learning a language that is not their native one, or even teaching business people how to correctly speak in foreign languages if it is required for their jobs.

Additionally, speech and language therapists are frequently hired by colleges to help teach and oversee their own speech-language pathology educational programs. Really, the job description offers many options in what type of work a therapist actually does, and which patients or clients they work with.

How to Become A Speech Therapist

Since it is such a detailed profession, those wishing to become speech therapists are usually required to graduate from a Master’s program in speech-language pathology. They must study on how to be part teacher and part therapist in order to appropriately fulfill the speech therapy job description and prosper in their career.

Also, those seeking certification – which is highly recommended, is required in many regions, and offers the most in job advancement and the ability to specialize – will need to have graduated from a Master’s program; prospective students should take all this into consideration when researching schools, and educational requirements.

Even though becoming a speech-language pathologist involves a more lengthy college career, most entering the field find the effort well worth it in the end. Between the diversity of the job description, the ability to advance education and specialize if desired, and an attractive salary, those working in this profession enjoy it greatly.

Prospective students looking for more information about entering a speech-language pathology program are recommended to contact their country’s professional association of speech-language therapists, which can usually point them in the right direction in regard to approved programs, and how to get started in the profession.

Building and Managing a High School Soccer Program

The following interview is with Coach Bill Bratton, who was my Soccer Coach at Cross Keys High School in Atlanta, Georgia for the school year 1989-1990. I asked him for an interview to share his thoughts on Soccer. He has been involved with Soccer for over 25 years so I wanted to pick his brain on the subject.

Stafford:

Hello Coach, you have been coaching high school soccer for over 25 years. How did you first get involved in the sport?

Coach Bill Bratton:

Hi Stafford and thank you. Well I started coaching soccer in 1982 in DeKalb County in my first year teaching at Sequoyah High. The previous coach had left and the school needed someone to coach. The principal offered me the opportunity to take over the program.

Stafford:

How was that experience for you and how did you prepare for this new role as a High School Soccer Coach?

Coach Bill Bratton:

I will admit I had never played or coached soccer before. In the off season I spent time preparing and learning by reading books and going to clinics. I will also admit that the players knew more about the skills, the formations and what it took to play the game than I did but it was the coaching organization of putting a team together to play as a team that was my strength. I really enjoyed coaching soccer once I mastered the knowledge I needed.

Stafford:

How long did you coach at Sequoyah and how did you end up at Cross Keys?

Coach Bill Bratton:

I coached Sequoyah for 4 years before DeKalb began a consolidation program and I transferred to Cross Keys in 1986. I had the privilege of coaching the Keys program for the next 20 years. I earned my Georgia class D coaching license as well as a Class C level National Coaching license from the USSF. The situation at Cross Keys was much like Sequoyah, they needed a new soccer coach and the AP who would become the principal offered me the position.

Stafford:

How was the situation at Cross Keys, and what did it take to build the program?

Coach Bill Bratton:

It took hard work and discipline to build the program. My job involved rebuilding a program. It had lost its organization, discipline was amuck, and the program wasn’t winning, just 2 years from finishing 3rd in the state. I had to incorporate discipline into the program and to teach players what playing on a school competitive team meant and was needed to win. This progress was going to take many years to complete.

Players would tell me “Coach we just want to play”. Cross Keys was a highly transient school. It was a constant rebuilding progress every year. They had no understanding of playing as a team, that they had to come to practice, to commit, and to be successful they had to play as a team. As I look back that took 2-3 years to get across. Once we reached the point of players returning consistently, I started instilling in the players that we were playing to win. They were playing in a competitive environment. If they just wanted to play there were rec teams, club teams, and other leagues they could go and “just play”.

There were teams that we could beat just based on talent and skill alone so we had to start winning those games. Slowly players started to understand, but they had no knowledge of what playing for a State Championship” was or meant. But we started to win games we should of and it was time to go to the next level, winning games that were 50-50. Again this level took 3-4 years to develop. I constantly had to preach to the teams what we were out there to accomplish. We wanted to win games and develop. After getting to the point of winning 50-50 games, we needed to win games that we were not expected to win. Our goal was to make the region playoffs to go to the state playoffs. The final step in the development was to defeat teams no one expected us to. It was always my belief that we had the ability, the skills to play with anyone and defeat anyone on any given day. In my last 5 years at the Keys we had two teams to reach the 2nd round (sweet 16) level of the state playoffs.

Stafford:

Awesome! I see a pattern here and a valuable lesson to be learned. An opportunity was presented; Rather than turn it down because you had no prior experience in soccer at that time, you made the effort to learn about the subject by spending time ” preparing and learning by reading books and going to clinics”, etc. You mentioned it took work and discipline and eventually you mastered the knowledge that was needed to coach high school soccer, which I saw when my old high school merged with Cross Keys and I ended up playing for you in my senior year. You seemed to have had a passion for soccer and knowledge of the game and the know-how to get players excited for the game and team unity. But all of that was accomplished through your own hard work and effort. How important is “discipline” for the aspiring soccer player and anyone in general?

Coach Bill Bratton:

Let me start out by saying that I believe discipline is an important attribute for anyone to have. To achieve individual or team goals one must have self-discipline. Discipline can have many different meaning to each person. It can be a commitment to attending practices, to going beyond what is asked of one to do to prepare. Discipline comes from having goals and achieving goals come from being disciplined. Some say that my teams were disciplined. On a team there can be only one chief who must lead and lead by setting the discipline of what is expected from others. The others must be willing to accept the standards and work together to achieve for the benefit of the whole and not the individual. If the team has discipline many other honors will come their way.

For many years as the coach I would tell the teams our goals, the purpose of what we will be trying to achieve, and that to reach these ideals we must all be on the same page. Some years I would have players who as the season would progress would disagree with the discipline and feel that certain things were unfair. They would question the purpose, the lineup, and the style of play or other team discipline. Of course I would try to talk with them, explain what was being done and why, listen to their side of the picture. I always had an open door if a player wanted to talk or discuss issues but not in public or at practice or during a game. I recall one instance where 5 players who I had taken out of a game and disagreed with my decision that they left the team bench and set in the stands. These players were removed from the team immediately after the game. On another team years later the players felt the formation we were playing and the players in those positions was wrong. This time I gave that team the chance to play the players and the formation they felt we needed to be playing. I said you have a half to show me that I am wrong and if it doesn’t work it will be done my way and there will be no more discussion and if you cannot agree with my decisions you have a decision that only you can make. Well the team’s way didn’t work so at halftime I told the team I gave you your opportunity now it will be done my way.

I always in my 26 years of coaching have told every team that I coach (you might recall this)… I don’t care who you are, I don’t care how good you are (even if you are the best player), or who you know… If you have to be disciplined you will be disciplined. No matter how much it might hurt the team, you know the rules and you know if you break the rules you will be disciplined and I will discipline you.

Stafford:

Thanks Coach. Have you had any experience with Club Soccer (soccer outside of the school system)? What is your thought on Club Soccer and its impact on High School Soccer? For example, some players who play high school soccer in the Spring may have Club teams that they play for that trains Summer, Fall and even Winter!

Coach Bill Bratton:

My experience on coaching Club has been limited as I coached one year with a U-14 boys’ team with Roswell Santos club league. We won the Fall and Spring season championship. A few years later I worked with Concorde Soccer coaching a U-12 boys team for a year.

If a player is looking to be seen and has the dream of playing at the college level then the club system is the way to go. But keep in mind that this is for elite level players. If they are good enough there is a program that they can go through to reach a higher level of play if they have the talent. First is to be selected on a top level team, to try out for the State select teams, to reach Regional recognition, etc. In the summer they should attend a quality soccer camp to improve their skills and to be seen by college coaches. In high school some club coaches look down at the high school programs and encourage players not to play on their school teams for a lack of quality coaching, getting injured, lack of talent, and low level of play from many schools.

I encourage my players to find a club team to play on in the off seasons as it can only help to make them better. In the Fall if they are not playing on a club team, I encourage players to practice Cross Country to start developing their stamina and if possible to go out for wrestling in the Winter. Some club players come into the High School level and will tell me they can only play a midfield or an outside wing position. I try to teach my players that even though they played center midfield on their club team they are a great fit in the defense on the school team. Players need to keep an open mind and be willing to play the position that will give the team they are on the opportunity to be competitive and a chance to win.

Stafford:

Thanks Coach! Having been a club coach for several years, I can relate to the statement “some club coaches look down at the high school program and encourage players not to play on their school teams from a lack of quality coaching, getting injured, lack of talent, level of play from many schools.” Not that I have ever made that statement. However, that statement may have had some validity in the past, but do you see this changing as new generation of teachers who may be coaching high school or middle school presently are actually former soccer players who are also teachers, but may want to use the high school experience as a career path for some form of College/Professional coaching? This may be the case for some private schools.

Coach Bill Bratton:

Yes I see this getting better. The coaching at the high school level has shown major improvement in the coaches’ knowledge of the game. High schools teams now, like club teams can hire community coaches to help coach teams now and pay a stipend. These individuals must take the state required courses to become a community coach and follow the rules of the school, the county and state as they coach. So high school coaches who might lack in the skills and able to find someone willing to coach to teach/work coaching the players the skills or to work on the strategies and tactical aspects of the game. This is what many club teams do now. They have a person to run the run but pay hundreds of dollars a month for a named/quality individual who was a former player, etc to actual do the coaching.

Stafford:

****Coach Bratton retired in 2006, but after 7 years he wanted to get back into coaching and took over the varsity boys position at a High School in Fulton County (Georgia) as a community coach. It was great speaking to him again after so many years. ****

5 Tips For Android Apps To Play Your Music

Music is something many can’t live without, it has the ability to relax you. Because people always have a need for music, many electronic manufacturers, understand this. There are different android applications that are capable of playing music. The android software will help you access lots of music.

Some apps you can find in the android store to play your music are as follows:

The double twist player application

The is considered the best app in the android market. It gives you large scope to find a whole range of different music. This application also let’s you sync the songs you have to you laptop with the use of wifi. With a MAC you can use iTunes to perform the same functionality

The Tune wiki application

As well as having wiki online there is also wiki in the android market. This app has a built in social network and you can also access lyrics to songs. As well as lyrics they can be translated into 40 other languages. With the built in social element you can follow other members choices also and get the charts and maps.

The Power Amp application

Don’t forget the Power Amp if you are looking for music as it will let you play music in a number of different formats. Including MP3, FLAC, ALAC, WAV and WMA. The app also has a 10 band equalizer that is quite impressive. You can opt to use the Android library to play songs or you can use the songs that you may have stored on your folder. This an app that stands up to its name.

The PlayerPro application

You can browse your music using this by choosing an album, artist, song choices by genre or folder. You can download music using this and also get lyrics. It also has the ability to download music automatically. A nice feature is the ability to mix audio effects into the music. It also has a band equalizer that has 5 bands. There is also a boost increaser and other bass controls.

From all the apps PlayerPro is the oldest, but is still a good one to have. The WinAmp app is one that used to be used for PC’s.

If you are not convinced that the apps I have suggested are up to scratch you can take a look on apps store. If you do decide to check out the apps store you are likely to come up with at least one of the applications above, happy vibing.

Military High Schools – Will Your Child Fit In?

The term “military high school” can be quite self-explanatory. It’s almost the same as a private high school, except that it follows after a military tradition. The purpose of this is to get the best of what military academies have to offer and apply this on high school students in order to help them develop important values such as camaraderie, nationalism, discipline, and responsibility, among others.

These schools have the usual core subjects and extracurricular activities present in traditional high schools, but with additional military-inspired activities. It’s not unusual for high school military schools to have extracurricular activities like riflery, JROTC, marching band and similar activities, or for core subjects to include courses about naval navigation, rocketry, military history, and similar courses.

While some private schools require students to wear uniforms, most military high schools will require students to wear military-inspired uniforms and be called “cadets”. Different school staff will also have military titles, and different parts of the school will have military-inspired names.

You’ll also find some military high schools which focus more on a branch of military service. For example, there are schools that provide extra courses for different military branches like navy, but focus more on aviation. Students can get extra courses in aviation science, have actual on-hands experience flying a plane and get their pilot’s license by the time they graduate in high school.

Going to a military school does not guarantee a slot in military universities or colleges, but it’s a good way to have an edge in terms of knowledge in different parts of the military tradition. Not all students who go to these kinds of high school really plan to pursue a military career, but the fact remains that these schools provide students with excellent education, a structured environment, and the discipline and drive that will help them succeed in the next phase of their academic and personal lives.

Military schools have a great track record for college matriculation as well as developing students who are athletically gifted. Students are not forced to take part in military-inspired extracurricular activities. For example, most schools do not require all students to join JROTC. Students with different interests can still flourish in military schools. After all, when students learn to be responsible for themselves and strive for excellence, they pick up important life skills along the way that are beneficial to any field that they choose.

Students are also not treated like regular cadets in a military training camp. They do go out on weekends, get calls from home, have internet access and are connected to the outside world. They aren’t cloistered and kept from the world outside school. Most of them are actively involved in community service efforts.

The question of whether your child will fit in depends on whether his/her personality and needs can be best served by military schools. If your teen has other needs, like teens with ADHD/ADD, learning differences and disabilities, it’s best to find out if the school has facilities to accommodate and help your child with his/her specific challenges. Not all military high schools will be able to provide this. If your child has a need for intensive therapy and counseling, other alternatives are probably more suited to fit that, such as therapeutic boarding schools.

Top and Best Apps for Traveling This Summer

At this very moment, we can guess that about half of the world population is dreaming of traveling to some place exotic and half others are already there. It’s summer people and for me summer is all about traveling and enjoying things but without proper planning this travel can turn into a disaster. Irrespective of where might be going and what you have planned, iPhone perfect companion for the travel “Just about Everything” full of handy apps and features your iPhone can be you’re trip savior too.

You will discover that with current mobile technology as iPhone, you can travel like a pro without any hassle.

The essential requirements like booking flights and hotels to scheduling tours and looking where to eat, and even educating key phrases on your travels to new and exciting countries will become with these listed apps, by the end of this article you will be prepared for you trip.

1. Trip Boss ($4.99) Precisely developed for tracking expenses made during the trip. Ideal comrade for the business traveler and others’ when going on holiday. The budget feature is perfect for a family vacation, or for business projects. International,with real-time currency and a bonus currency calculator. You can even use the tip calculator when you’re not traveling. Trip Boss travel manager is modular, so you can add additional travel apps via in-app purchase.

2. TripIt – Travel Organizer (Free) TripIt is an easier way to organize travel. No more frantic searches for flight numbers in your inbox: access all your travel plans in one place on your iPhone, iPad, in your calendar, or online – no matter where you book. To get started, simply forward your travel confirmations to plans[at]tripit[dot]com and TripIt automatically creates a “smartinerary,” combining your travel plans with maps, driving directions and more, which can easily be shared with others.

3. Live Flight Tracker (Free) (Best for US, Canada and UK people) Basically this app allows you tracking maps and flight status of UK, US and Canada. This app allows you to track airline flights and general aviation’s. Start searching by Flight number, city pair or airport code, aircraft registration, route, airline. Complete flight details and full screen maps along with NEXRAD radar overlay is included in tracking data. Registration is required with Flight Aware.com to use app effectively and with ease, if not don’t worry registration is free of cost you can visit their site at any time and register there.

4. Trip Tracker – Live Flight Status Tracker (Free) Real-time status of the flights can be retrieved from Trip Tracker, real-time schedule with push alerts, live weather reports and route maps of required city or country, hotel and car rental information to ease your travel in any place.All these information are pushed in to your iPhone automatically without having hassle of entering it manually.

5. Wi-Fi Finder (Free) Quickly and easily find FREE or paid Wi-Fi when you travel with the Wi-Fi Finder for iPhone and iPod Touch. Download all of the locations offline, so you know how to stay connected when you are on the road. This app will help you to find the closest Wi-Fi spot and also guide you to there, by just enabling or using GPS function of your iPhone.

6. City Essential ($0.99) An Exclusive feature of City Essentials is, it allows you to quickly look for closest supermarket, Gas stations, hospitals hotels and many more with sorting your current location or position. You can create your own categories’ or genre like Exotic, Party, Friends Place or your favorite restaurants’ etc. Now you just have to tap on app and information will just flow freely to help you access these points of interests in a flash.

7. OpenTable (Free) Restaurant Reservations – Free, Instant, Confirmed. You can make free restaurant reservations With OpenTable at more than 15,000 OpenTable-enabled restaurants in the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom. Also, OpenTable associates earn prized Dining Rewards Points tradable for Dining Cheques at any other OpenTable restaurant.

HOW IT WORKS: Specify your dining date, desired time and party size to view available tables at nearby restaurants – listed by proximity or plotted on an interactive map.

Hope you are ready for your trip, have fun and make your trip adventures and delightful with these apps.

RESP – Register Education Savings Plan Woes

The RESP Group plans account for a third of the $18 billion that Canadian parents have socked away for their kids’ post-secondary schooling since the federal government created the RESP program in 1998. They are run by organizations that manage the RESP assets on behalf of parents, with names like the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation, USC and Heritage Education Funds.

The catch: the pooled plans, which have had a reputation for aggressive marketing campaigns, including ads in hospitals and dentists’ offices, come with long lists of fees and complicated rules. The plans are now the subject of a growing wave of complaints from parents and scrutiny by regulators The group plans typically include significant barriers for those who want to stop contributing, including a sharp reduction in the final payout from the plan toward a child’s post-secondary education.

Parents may transfer their RESP to another dealer, such as a bank, but most group plans will first deduct all the profits made on the parents’ contributions, which can grow to a substantial sum over the years. Those who want out also typically have to pay other fees, like an enrollment fee that often amounts to hundreds or thousands of dollars, a “depository” fee, and a transfer charge. The pooled RESPs are also facing a lot of other scrutiny. Another examination of the sector has been going on, this one by the Canadian Securities Administrators, which represents all the provincial securities regulators. The earlier review concluded with a damning report that revealed a litany of serious shortcomings, including: poor oversight of salespeople, who did not disclose fees properly and passed themselves off as working for a nonprofit organization when they actually worked for commissions; deceptive marketing material that falsely suggested government regulators had endorsed the plans; inflated rates of return that relied on “creative calculations to make the returns appear higher”; and lax record-keeping.

Even after the reforms, however, the grumbling from parents did not go away. At the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, an Ottawa government regulatory agency that investigates complaints against federally regulated financial institutions, spokesman John Kane said a growing number of Canadians are calling to complain about RESP dealers of all stripes. The issues most commonly raised are the usual sore spots involving the group plans: fees and problems with accessing funds in a plan. (Self-directed RESPs typically involve minimal or no fees and impose no restrictions of their own on getting to the funds, apart from those of the federal RESP program.)

According to the Ontario Securities Commission these are what you would have to expect if you are considering a Group RESP. Investment decisions are made for you. Contributions are made according to a set schedule, which is determined when you open the plan. If you miss a contribution to the plan, your account may go into default and your plan may be terminated. If you are allow to stay in the plan, you may have to pay extra fees and interest on the missed payment. The interest owing can grow over time to an amount that is difficult to pay. Fees you are expected to pay:

• Enrollment fees (Usually 1st year contribution is eaten up by this fee, and up to 50% of 2nd year until fees are all paid)
• Administration fees
• Investment management fees
• Depository fees
• Trustee fees

Because fees are deducted from the early contributions, this will decrease the earning power of the investment. These plans have more restrictions than other types of plans on how much and how often you can make withdrawals. i.e If your child decides to go to summer school to fast track, you may not be allowed to withdraw any of the funds to pay for summer school.

Now the good news is that there are plans, self directed plans through banks and mutual fund dealers where you have control of the contribution amount, the type of investment and most important of all,the funds being available when needed. This being said, your child will receive the government grants and none of that will go to pay fees. Most mutual funds do have a fee, a fee that is diminished until it is zero after seven years. Think about it, your child’s RESP will be there longer than seven years therefore no fees!

What does this mean to you as the consumer? Read the prospectus and ask questions!

Not All International Schools Are Created Equal – A Quick and Dirty Guide For Overseas Teachers

Considering the recent unprecedented growth in the number of international schools in the world on top of the abundance already operating worldwide, it is no wonder you might be reeling from the thought of choosing the ‘right’ school for you.

Of course, that is assuming you are already frothing at the mouth to kick-start your international teaching career and that you are looking for clarification of what international teaching is all about and how to break into this select group of educational professionals. If you are not, well why not? Using my teaching credentials to secure a job teaching abroad was the best career decision I have ever made.

But I digress… this is all about helping you get a handle on the different kinds of international schools there are who are looking for international teachers to staff them.

Privately Owned International Schools

Private international schools are essentially businesses with directors who are aiming to make a profit. There is a considerable amount of money to be made in providing private education in areas where the supply is less than demanded.

Many wealthy parents are demanding English language education for their children, and that has lead to the propagation of international schools. This is a particular feature of the Middle East and Asia, where new schools are starting up each year. The year I was looking for my current position there were a total of 5 new schools starting up in Dubai.

The good, the bad and the ugly of private international schools…

The Good – they are plentiful. There are a large number of private international schools to choose from.
The Bad – While it is possible to balance good educational practice with the desire to make substantial profits, it is unlikely that in a knock down fight between the two that the goal of educating the students well will win.
The Ugly – When a school’s continued survival, and consequently profit making potential, is dependent upon tuition money from students, how likely do you think it is that the school will expel students that are negatively affecting the learning of others?

English Speaking ‘International’ Schools

Some schools do not do a very good job of being an international school, rather they should be called English Speaking Schools. In fact, many schools springing up in the Middle East do call themselves just that because most of the students are local.

The student body of an international school should hail from outside the school’s host country. If the majority of the student body is local to the host country, then surely that negates it being an ‘international’ school?

Many international schools put a limit on the proportion of students that can come from the host country. These international schools often have a waiting list for local students.

The good, the bad and the ugly of English Speaking ‘International’ Schools…

The Good – once again, there are a lot of them around, all looking for international teachers.
The Bad – instead of enjoying a multi-cultural classroom with students that are enthusiastic and all have different experiences to bring to class discussions. You will be teaching wealthy children who possibly have no concept of what it is like to have to do things like chores and who may not have any concept of the real world.
The Ugly – you will be teaching a class full of students who will share a common language that you don’t understand, mono-lingual classes being taught subject specific content in a language that isn’t their own can be a real struggle. You are not going into international teaching to work harder than you do at home!

Military Schools

A US Department of Defense (DoD) school is a school that is attached to a military base abroad. The DoD is responsible for providing education for all school aged dependents of all military and civilian employees who are required to live abroad in order to do their jobs.

There are over 100 US Department of Defense schools in Europe, and currently there are 210 schools located around the world in 12 countries. You might encounter the children of military personnel in American schools abroad when there is no DOD school available.

The British Equivalent is Service Children’s Education (SCE) Schools who operate 27 schools world wide with the majority of them situated in Cyprus and Germany. SCE schools are designed to give the students the same kind of education they would receive if living in the UK and attending school there.

The good, the bad and the ugly of Military Schools…

The Good -It is easy to evaluate the package you will receive because you will be employed on a national contract. If you are working for the SCE you will be employed on a British teaching contract, with a few extras. You will also be paid in Sterling. The same goes for a DoD school.
The Bad – TAX! You will have to pay national taxes. One of the benefits that comes with teaching at an international school is that you can pay less tax or work in a tax free environment. When you work for a overseas military school you will be employed ‘in’ the country whose military the school serves.
The Ugly – You’ll be teaching American or British students the relevant curriculum. You will miss out on experiencing a true multi-cultural classroom and all the benefits of teaching international children.

Private Board-Run International Schools

Let’s face it, most international schools are going to be private. What reason would any country’s government have to run a special school for foreign children? I can think of a few and none of them are particularly good!

And so, you’re going to be stuck with a private school. But this doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

Private board-run international schools are generally the best of the lot. These schools are run on a not-for-profit basis where any and all profits are usually ploughed back into the school in order to fund future improvements.

The board is often made up of a mixture of local business people and officials (to ease the school’s relationship with officials), parents and teachers. The primary goal of these schools is more likely to be to provide an excellent education for students because you’ve got educators and parents on the decision making body.

The good, the bad and the ugly of Private Board-Run International Schools…

The Good – Good quality education is a priority of the people with the power to make the decisions. You’ll be treated like a professional here.
The Bad – When board members include people who are not trained educators, sometimes they have some trouble prioritising issues the way education administrators would for the good of the whole school.
The Ugly – You’ll sometimes get a power hungry megalomaniac on the board, and once they’re there they can be difficult to oust.

Still, if possible, this is the kind of school you really want to be working for!

The Importance of Speech Therapy Certification

Speech therapy is an important service offered within the category of healthcare services. A more specialized medical career, speech-language pathologists work with patients of all ages, and with a variety of challenges, in order to help them communicate more clearly with the world around them.

It is a highly regulated profession, in most cases requiring practitioners to obtain a certification, but also one that is both diverse and interesting. Geared toward those interested in teaching, as well as therapeutic services, a career as a speech therapist can be highly rewarding for the right individuals.

Becoming a Speech Therapist

Prospective students who are interested in a career as a speech-language pathologist will need to fulfill specific educational requirements in order to do so.

In the US, Canada and other countries, practitioners who seek certification are required to complete a minimum of a Master’s degree in speech-language pathology, though there are a few shorter programs available.

In the UK and a few other areas, national registration with regulatory healthcare organizations is sometimes obtainable with a Bachelor’s degree, or other accelerated educational programs as well.

Regardless, in all cases, a Master’s degree is still highly recommended since it is more preferable to employers, and offers the most in employment options and career advancement.

Gaining Certification in Speech Therapy

In order to become certified, students will need to provide proof of having graduated from an appropriate accredited educational program, which makes them eligible to take the national certification examination.

Licensing is required in most states and provinces in the US and Canada, and in some cases, certification is required in order for practitioners to become licensed to practice within their state.

Additionally, as mentioned above, since it is such a specialized profession, most employers today require that candidates be certified before they will be considered for hire.

Certification examinations in the US are provided by and maintained by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASLA), which awards the title of Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology, or CCC-SLP.

Canadian graduates can take the certification exam offered by the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA), which will provide practitioners with a Certificate of Clinical Certification.

In both cases, practitioners are required to be a member in good standing of the issuing professional organization, and they are required to keep up their certification through the accruement of a specific amount of Continuing Education hours each year; failure to do so can result in loss of certification, and the need to re-test to regain this qualification.

Certification is handled somewhat differently in some areas however, such as in the UK, where registration with the HCPC acts as the main proof of ability.

Only graduates of programs that are both accredited by the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists (RCSLT) and recognized by the HCPC enable graduates to register with the HCPC.

There are a select few specialty certifications that can be earned through separate programs associated with the RCSLT, but these are not required for HCPC registration, and are typically taken after a practitioner has been working for some time, has gained considerable work experience, and would like to specialize in one area of therapy over general therapy.

The Importance of Accreditation

In all cases, one of the most important considerations that any prospective student needs to make before they enroll in a speech-language pathology degree program is whether or not it is accredited.

Students are only eligible to obtain certification if they have graduated a recognized, accredited program, which serves as a measure that each student has been provided the most accurate, up to date and complete education and training as possible.

To find out which college programs are accredited, prospective students are recommended to contact their country’s professional organization in Speech-Language Pathology, as these groups are typically involved with accreditation of educational programs, and maintain a list of them.

In the US, the ASHA is partnered with the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, and together helps grade and approve all acceptable programs, and uphold educational standards of their approved programs.

Canadian accreditation is handled by the CASLPA in partnership with the Council for Accreditation of University Programs in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CACUP-ASLP). UK accreditation, as mentioned above, is handled by the RCSLT in conjunction with HCPC requirements.

Although it may seem like getting a certification might be challenging, students who are dedicated to their new profession, and are interested in getting the best education they possibly can will benefit greatly from their effort.

Not only will they have access to the best jobs in their profession, but they will reap the many other benefits that certification offers, such as career advancement and increased salary as well.

The Cradle Of Humankind – A World Heritage Site In Our Backyard

The Cradle of Humankind has been a world heritage site since 1999 yet how many of us locals have been there? This intriguing location is only about thirty minutes away from the north-western suburbs of Johannesburg and yet to some of the city’s inhabitants it is still an undiscovered gem. Perhaps the adage of ignoring what is under one’s nose can be said to have applied in the past but times are rapidly changing. The Sterkfontein area, where many prehistoric fossils were found, is no longer merely an attraction for archaeologists; it is now a thriving tourist destination. People come from all over to learn the secrets of this captivating region and to enjoy its hospitality.

Even if you are not one of those people who is captivated by the past, the Cradle of Humankind is a lovely area to visit from the point of view of natural beauty. Usually when one thinks of Gauteng, the cities of Pretoria (its capital) and Johannesburg (the City of Gold) come to mind, and whilst both these towns have a rich history and specific cultural flavour, they are commercial hubs rather than tranquil getaway spots. The Cape has Table Mountain and fynbos, and Kwazulu Natal has The Midlands, but Gauteng has until recently been lagging in the ‘natural wonder’ stakes, not because it lacks natural wonders but because the province has traditionally been recognised for its social history and commercial viability rather than its appearance. The Cradle of Humankind is a feather in the cap of Gauteng and should not be underestimated, not only in terms of its relevancy to humankind, but because of its unspoilt beauty. It is a world heritage site, after all…

Because the Cradle of Humankind is so close to present-day civilisation, it is easy to make a day trip there. However, should you wish to stay awhile, there are a number of different types of accommodation options available; from bush camping sites to four- and five-star boutique hotels. Game estates are another feature of this bountiful region where you can enrich your breakaway with a spot of game viewing. It is great to be able to see kudu, zebra and hippo, to name but a few, in their natural environment, as well as a multitude of bird and insect species. The region is also a great place to hold conferences and corporate breakaways as it offers solitude without skimping on the amenities.

Whatever your reason for visiting the Cradle of Humankind you will be doing yourself a favour if you visit the Maropeng Visitor Centre. Here you will be able to find out all you ever wanted to know about the cultural and historical significance of the region and get a clear perspective on why it is a world heritage site. Apart from the goings on at its educational facility, Maropeng has a number of tours and events on its calendar, which, combined with other activities like game drives and hot air ballooning offered in and around the area makes for a fun and educational experience for any city slicker.