Carol Terpstra, is an SLP who knows how to transition careers! In this episode, you’ll hear how she’s gone from an undergrad economics degree, to SLP for postgrad, then medical SLP to school based SLP, and now children’s book author.
She talks about the differences between working on contract versus as an employee, why she loves working with pre-K through first grade, and the importance of identifying learning, literacy, and language needs early in a child’s life.
Discussion & Reflection Question
- If you’re thinking of starting out a school based SLP, or transitioning, how can you reach out to find mentors in the field?
- How would you, as a school based SLP, advocate for the kids you work with as much as possible for other services they may need?
- Have you had the opportunity to work with different age ranges in schools? How can you get to experience this?
- Are there different types of training and continuing education you can take to explore different SLP roles?
- What’s your big motivator, your “why” you’ve chosen to be an SLP working in schools?
“I get to make an impact every single day on a little person’s life. Those little faces light up when you are telling a story and you’ve got them in that moment. Of course, that’s not always the case, but that’s fine. I feel blessed to be able to do it every single day.”
– Carol Terpstra
Carol Terpstra MS, CCC-SLP
Carol Terpstra has spent the latter part of her career as a school-based SLP, and recently became a children’s book author. She currently works part-time as an SLP contracting in schools, and in her own business. She has an undergrad degree in Economics from Indiana University, and an MS in Speech and Language Pathology from Nova Southeastern University.
Carol’s business, Sound Sprouts, was born organically through her experience as an SLP in schools, beginning with a decision to write a book series that focused on the eight sets of cognates. She has enlisted the help of family in the business, and feels blessed to have their knowledge and support. Her husband is helping build an app series that will complement the books. Her 19-year-old daughter is the illustrator/designer of the books and apps. And her recently graduated SLP niece is often a sounding board, and also helps with social media.
Born and mostly raised in Indiana, Carol’s parents migrated from the Dominican Republic. After living in the DR for about five years, she is bilingual in Spanish. Carol has lived in SE Florida for 30 years, loves the weather, and the multiculturalism there. Married, with two teenage children, they love playing board games and visiting family around the country. Carol likes reading with a cup of coffee/tea, volunteering at her church, exercising, and finding treasures at antique shops or vintage clothing.
Contact Carol Terpstra:
Katie Widestrom-Landgraf, MS, CCC-SLP
Katie is a speech-language pathologist who has worked in both medical and educational settings for over 20 years. She presently works with adolescents in a large suburban high school.
Katie is a past president of the Minnesota Speech-Language Hearing Association (MNSHA). She has collaborated with the MN Dept. of Education to expand the understanding of oral language as critical neurodevelopmental infrastructure for academic achievement processes.
Katie is most passionate about helping students develop their language skills as a tool for thought, wonderment, questioning and curiosity…and of course communication. When Katie is not working with the students on her caseload, she is still working with students to develop their communication and self-expression as a high school forensics coach.
Katie enjoys great conversations and connections where one loses a sense of time, fabulous dining experiences, transcendent cups of coffee and books that are so good she negotiates with her alarm clock so that she might finish just one more chapter.
Contact Katie Widestrom-Landgraf
“Sometimes in schools our colleagues are thinking about, and have been trained to consider, teachable skills. We are trained to consider the infrastructure that supports and is a part of acquiring those teachable skills. Iit can be really challenging to help folks understand those skill sets that are not explicitly taught if the system is developing as it should. I think sometimes teachers presume availability of that system, when that may not always be the case for a kid.”
– Katie Widestrom-Landgraf
Mattie Murrey Tegel, MA, CCC-SLP, L, CPC, CLSC
Medical Speech-Language Pathologist and Founder of Fresh SLP
Mattie Murrey-Tegels is the founder and SLP behind Fresh SLP and The Missing Link for SLPs Podcast. She’s been “in-the-trenches” as a medical SLP around the world for over 25 years and now an Assistant Professor for 3 years. She is thrilled to be adding this dream of a podcast because paying her experiences forward is something she is very passionate about. If you ask her patients and students, one thing they will remember is how much she loves her job! She may not look like it but she is a huge introvert and when she is not actively working as an SLP, she is almost always reading, writing (writing over 1,000,000 words a year), or listening to amazing Chicago Blues bands. She also loves being outdoors and definitely enjoys soaking up the sun at her home in Minnesota, where warm and sunny days can be limited. She’s ridden motorcycles for many years, raced sled dogs, hiked huge mountains yet she cherishes the quiet moments of climbing into a hammock to nap or timeless conversations with friends and family.
The Missing Link for SLPs podcast and Fresh SLP is her legacy, giving back to a career that has so richly rewarded her.
Thank you for listening to The Missing Link for SLPs podcast! If you enjoyed the show, I’d love you to subscribe, rate it and leave a short review. Also, please share an episode with a friend. Together we can raise awareness and help more SLPs find and connect those missing links to help them feel confident in their patient care every step of the way.
Not a substitute for a formal SLP education or medical advice for patients/caregivers.