The Educator Spotlight recognizes those who contribute to the education of local students. Educators were chosen by consulting with site PTA, student government organizations and staff. Educators were chosen for their reputations with students, staff, parents and the community.
Shannon Bishop, Franklin Elementary School
Shannon Bishop’s career as a Speech/Language Pathologist (SLP) began when she first took an introductory course in college. She immediately made it her major and continued at the University of Redlands to get a BA and MS in Communicative Disorders. She has now been an SLP for 20 years, having worked with people from 3 to 103 years old. She actually began by working with adults and the geriatric population in Skilled Nursing Facilities and Rehabilitation Hospitals. However, this year is currently her 16th in Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District.
Bishop especially enjoys and feels appreciated when her colleagues ask for her professional opinion on a student. She enjoys collaborating to find a solution for each individual student that may include implementing classroom accommodations, and may avoid testing and pull out. She says she is “available for any teacher to discuss any student.”
I really enjoy working with people of all ages to improve their ability to communicate with others. Every day (even every hour) is different, just as every student is different. When you have been working on something for an extended period of time and you see the light go on in a child’s face as they understand, it’s the best feeling in the world.
One of my ongoing goals is to get people to understand that I am a Speech-LANGUAGE Pathologist. This means that I do more than teach sounds. I also work on language skills. Speech encompasses articulation, phonology, stuttering, voice disorders and whatever affects the actual sounds of the words being said. Language refers to syntax, morphology, pragmatic (social) language, semantics, and whatever affects the content of what is being said. Being a pathologist means that I have the training to assess for and treat various communication disorders.
Since /s/ is one of the most common articulation errors for students who come to work in speech therapy, this semester I have started doing class lessons in first grade to teach the /s/ sound. In each classroom I did a short 20 minute lesson on the parts of your mouth and how to use them to make a good /s/ sound. I hope to go back next semester and teach another sound.
An SLPs job is to strive to make him/herself obsolete. My goal is to help kids meet their state standards to aid in becoming effective communicators throughout their lives.
“A career in Speech/Language Pathology challenges you to use your intellect (the talents of your mind) in combination with your humanity (the gifts of your heart) to do meaningful work that feeds your soul… I am proud to be a member of what I consider to be the best profession on earth.”