Monday, October 30, 2017

An Open Letter to the Speech Pathologist Who Will Take Over My Program Once I Leave

Dear Future SLP of Heritage Elementary,

Today is my last day at Heritage,  the only workplace I've ever known in my 18 year career as a speech pathologist. This evening, after I have loaded up the last of the countless boxes that contain my personal effects, I will leave room 119 and will lock it up for the last time.  It's going to be tough and I know I will shed some tears as I leave the building and drive home.  Truth be told, I've already shed more tears than I care to admit. 

Tomorrow you will take the helm.  You will take over the program that was in complete disarray when I inherited it nearly two decades ago, a program I've rebuilt from the ground up.  I've put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this program and, as you can imagine, the thought of handing over my life's work makes me nervous and a bit scared.  You are new to this profession, so you may not realize that we speech pathologists can be a bit territorial, even the easy-going ones like myself.  But, this is the natural progression of things.  In order for me to move on to a work situation that is better suited for my life, I must leave behind all that I've known since I became a speech pathologist many years ago.   

But, before I depart, I have a few things to ask of you. 

Please be understanding of the faculty and staff.  I've been here a long time and they are accustomed to the way I do things.  It may be a shock to their systems when you do something differently, as you should, because this is your program now.  Let me repeat that - this is your program now.  Take this program and make it your own.  Just be patient with them and realize that they, like yourself, are having to adjust.  I have no doubt in time, that everyone will adjust and everything will be alright. 

Also, please be patient with the kids.  This change is very abrupt and will catch many of them off guard. I've had several of them for 4 or 5 years and with them I have a special rapport.  Many of them are very sensitive and they may be emotional for a few days as they adjust.  All I ask is that you love them, be understanding of them, and do right by them.  They are good kids. 

I sincerely hope that you're time at Heritage will mean to you what my time here has meant to me.  I fell in love with it the moment I first stepped through its doors 18 years ago when I came to interview.  I knew in that instant that this is where I wanted to start my career and begin a new chapter in my life.  Within these walls, I've laughed, I've cried, I've smiled, I've made long-lasting friendships, and I've grown both professionally and personally.  I wish the same for you.  I hope you love it as much as I have.

Best of luck to you as you begin the next chapter of your young career.  




  1. Welcome to the next step in your career life take your own advise and be patient with yourself and the ones around you. It is a change for the good so embrace it and enjoy yourself. Congratulations on the change wish you all the best.

  2. Ahhh what did I miss? This is a good idea..writing a letter to your successor.
    Hope today is easy on you!

    1. I have accepted a transfer to another school in my district recently vacated by a speech pathologist who is retiring. By moving to this school, I reduce my 90 mile round trip commute to 56.

      Thank you! The day was super crazy and busy! I just broke down into tears towards the end when everyone started saying their goodbyes.

  3. I see your answer above to Kristin - best of luck in your new position - you cannot argue with a reduced commute. I would have cried too though!

    Lovely letter for your replacement.

    1. Thank you! It's an adjustment for sure, but a move that will make life a little more simple. I cried at school, I cried on the drive home, and I cried on and off throughout the evening.

  4. ahhh congrats on the new position! and the shorter commute! yay! best of luck to you and of course the person replacing you at your previous job.


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