The OT School House Podcast

Episode 50: Landing a School-Based Occupational Therapy Job

Featuring:

Amanda Clark, OTR/L

Listen on

apple-podcast-logo-300x77.jpg
Stitcher_Listen_Badge_Color_Light_BG.png

In this episode, Jayson hosts fellow occupational therapist, Amanda Clark, to talk about the differences between a contract school-based job and a district school-based job. After we identify the differences, we talk about how to land your first, or perhaps your fourth School-based Occupational Therapy job.

This podcast does not qualify as a Professional Development Podcast. You can learn more about how to earn professional development credits through the OTSH Podcast for your OT/COTA renewal certification here! 

Show Outline:

  • TYPES OF OT JOBS

    • Most common

      • District, Contract, County/SELPA (California Special Education Local Plan Areas) as they are called in California

    • Contract Jobs

      • Working for a private company that contracts with a school district - working for someone who is getting paid to have you work at a district

      • Pros

        • Mentorship opportunities

        • Salary and benefit negotiations are more common 

        • Travel options

        • More job opportunities over a larger distance if you are willing to move

        • More autonomy

        • COTA jobs are few and far between in district jobs, but contract companies often hire assistants. 

        • May be opportunities to move up in the company beyond being a school OT

      • Cons

        • May feel out of loop with the district employees or changes in policy

        • Benefits may not be as good as in a district. 

        • May work in varied districts/locations (could be a pro)

        • Access to supplies, equipment, buildings, and even a space to work can be a challenge. 

        • Hourly or PRN positions are very common in contract positions. Unless your district is a staggered year-round model, you will make less or even no money during the summer months.

        • Your caseload is more likely to fluctuate as a contractor. Maternity coverage is a common reason districts hire contractors. 

    • District/County jobs

      • Working directly for the county education dept. Or a specific district. 

      • Pros

        • Salary vs. hourly

        • Benefits tend to be good

        • May have more opportunities to collaborate and provide trainings

      • Cons

        • Limited opportunities to “move up” due to not having a credential

        • Limited school budgets

  • WHERE TO FIND A JOB

    • Edjoin.org

      • EdJoin is a national portal, but most postings are in California 

      • Go to the district websites you wish to work for

      • Linkedin

      • Talk to friends and colleagues. 

      • Referral bonus

  • NECESSARY DOCUMENTS

    • Resume

    • 2-3 current letters of recommendation

    • Letter of intent

    • OT License and Registration

    • Drivers license and Proof of insurance

    • Copy of your driving record

    • CPR Certification

    • Recent TB test

    • Transcripts 

  • PREPARING FOR THE INTERVIEW

    • Research the district a little bit

    • Practice answering possible interview questions 

      • What is the OT's role in an IEP?

      • What is an IEP?

      • What is IDEA and ADA? 

      • Understand what FAPE means

      • How might you collaborate with teachers to support students?

      • Understand best practice in regards to delivery of service: collaborative, consultation, and direct and when each is or is not appropriate.

      • Be prepared to describe what a typical session would look like… 

      • How would you explain why you are decreasing services to a reluctant parent? - hint hint... the key phrase they want to hear is “least restrictive environment” 

      • Not just OT questions -  Questions about overcoming obstacles, ethical dilemmas, working as part of a team, as well strengths and weaknesses are almost always a given. 

      • Know OT assessments used in the school setting.

      • Know programs used in the school setting (e.g. Handwriting Without Tears)

    • Likewise, prepare questions that you may have for the interview panel should you be given the opportunity.

  • AFTER THE INTERVIEW

    • Negotiations

    • Benefits

    • CEU Stipends/allowances & material allowances

OT School House graphic .png
OT School House graphic 2.png

Listen to the Podcast? Why not earn some Professional Development hours for doing so?

Check out the episodes below that have a paid (less than $20)

PD component to them! 

Freebies! 

 

Be sure to subscribe to our website now & get access to our free downloads of Gray-Space paper and the Occupational Profile for school-based OTs.

 

Have any questions or comments regarding our podcast? Email Jayson at Jayson@otschoolhouse.com

 

Well,

 

Thanks for visiting the show notes for Episode 46! If you enjoyed this episode be sure to subscribe on iTunes! 

 

If you know someone who might enjoy this podcast, please hit the Facebook "Share" button below.

 

 

And if you are simply interested in knowing more about us, follow us by clicking on your favorite social media icons below

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon
Screen Shot 2020-06-01 at 11.29.34 AM.pn
NEW PODCAST ART.jpg

Please note that some of the links on this page may be affiliate links, meaning we may receive a commission, at no additional cost to you, if you purchase something from the linked website. You can read all of our disclosures here.

  • Instagram Social Icon
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Spotify Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • Amazon Social Icon

© 2017-2020 by OT School House

All rights reserved.