Interview with School-Based SLP: Karly Sisco
- Interviews with Therapists
- By Karly Sisco
- Published on September 25
My name is Karly Sisco, and I am a speech language pathologist at a high school. I have been an SLP in the school setting for 13 years. I have been married for 13 years. My husband and I have two boys. I am very passionate about writing appropriate and functional IEP goals for my students. I also am a big supporter of work/life balance! Being an SLP requires a lot, but it doesn’t need to take away from your family time! Also, I love creating memes and reels related to my job.
What did you go to school for?
I studied Communicative Disorders for my undergraduate degree at the University of Alabama. I received my Masters in Speech Language Pathology also at the University of Alabama.
What is your current job title and how has that changed since you first started working?
My current job title is a high school SLP.
When I started grad school, my plan was to work in a hospital setting with stroke patients. Then I quickly changed to wanting to work with kids, and I worked in a prek/elementary setting for 8 years. Then I had kids of my own, and I decided that I needed work and home to look differently, so I chose to work with older students. I am so happy with my decision to work at a high school!
What made you decide to become a therapist?
I always knew that I wanted a job that would help others. I looked into becoming a nurse, but then I learned about the SLP field. I learned SLPs could work in medical settings, private settings, and school settings (and basically anywhere), and I loved all of the options.
What are some different roles you’ve held since becoming a therapist? Feel free to include any side hustles/part time work!
Our roles as SLPs are so broad. I am passionate about teaching my students to be advocates for themselves. However, until they learn to advocate for themselves, I am their biggest advocate, and I consider that a BIG part of my job.
After working in the high school setting, I realized so many SLP resources were targeted for younger students. I decided to create my own resources because there was such a need for functional pragmatic language resources for older students. I am not a creative person, but I had to make these resources because my kids needed them. So now, I am somehow also a Teachers Pay Teachers author and a Boom Learning creator.
What would you share with someone who wanted to find a position like yours or build a company/brand such as yours?
I truly think being an SLP is an amazing career, but it is not for everyone. Graduate school is quite competitive and a lot of work, but it does not define your SLP career. Grad school is very broad, but no one expects you to know everything about this field. You chose this field and this career for a reason. You get to help others communicate, and this is a huge gift!
What would you share with someone who is starting their journey to be a therapist?
Always remember your “why” for choosing this career path. This field is extremely broad, and there are lots of areas that you can specialize in. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed with all of the areas in graduate school. You can do this!
What are you most passionate about with your role as a therapist?
I am very passionate about teaching others to advocate for themselves. I believe all communication is valid, and that we should honor all forms of communication. We can’t assume anything! Communication looks different for everyone, and it is my job to help make sure that my students/clients are understood by others.
What are you most proud of in your journey to where you are today?
I am most proud of the learning and unlearning that has taken place in my career. There are goals that I wrote my first couple of years as an SLP that I would never write now. There are things I learned in grad school that I have learned aren’t always the best ways of doing things. I am proud of my willingness to learn and being okay with realizing that this field is always changing, and that I need to stay open-minded to change.
What are ways our readers can connect with you and follow what you are up to?
Follow me on TPT here: SLP for Every IEP
Boom Learning Store - SLP for Every IEP
Follow me on My Socials
Thanks for sharing your story with us on Jobs For Therapists, Karly!