In my role as a school-based physical therapist, I help students with disabilities fully participate in learning and social activities in their school environment. This might mean teaching a preschooler how to climb stairs and go down slides to play with their classmates, or helping an elementary school student learn to walk through the lunch line selecting their own food and getting on and off the cafeteria bench.
It could mean teaching a high school student how to drive their power wheelchair safely in the community to prepare for adult life. And it always means that in addition to directly working with students, I also collaborate with school staff so students have safe practice opportunities every day for the skills they learning.
Even though I have many years of experience, the past year has challenged me to think about exactly how I take on my role. It's been a year full of questions, exploration, and learning about what our contributions to student success mean in a global pandemic.