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Learning Links

  • 100 - 500 employees

Elizabeth Bell

Elizabeth Bell graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology) at the University of Sydney in 2011 and is now a Speech Pathologist and Therapy Manager at Learning Links.

8 am – Wake up

Thanks to Covid lockdowns, I work from home every day at the moment! One of the perks for me (I’m definitely not an early bird) is that I don’t have to get in my car to travel to the office, so I can sleep in a bit.

The first thing I do is get out my yoga mat to do a 20 minute Yoga class in my lounge room (youtube video from Yoga With Adriene) followed by some cardio (skipping) in my front yard.

1 liz

8.30 – Get ready

Shower, breakfast and getting ‘dressed’ for work (even though I’m not leaving the house!), and the all-important morning coffee.

9 am – Plan the day and client preparation

I take a look at the day ahead and plan out my schedule including meetings and projects I’m working on today. I use a mix of paper and technology – I have a daily paper calendar, but I also have a list on “To Do” which I use to track progress on various projects. 

This afternoon I’ll be seeing my clients for the speech pathology sessions– so the first hour of my work day is all about planning for those sessions. I go back to their notes from last week, look at their speech and language goals, decide on their goals for sessions today and the start putting together activities.  One of my kids loves Pokemon so I put together a Powerpoint activity with his favourite Pokemon characters to practice descriptive language.

2 liz

10 am – People Leaders meeting

At Learning Links we have a team of ‘People Leaders’ – staff who are supporting other staff! Especially with events in the world at the moment it’s so important for us to make sure we are providing support and guidance for all of our staff. Myself, our team leader, and 2 of our Speech pathology supervisors join this meeting; along with 22 other People Leaders across different departments including psychology, education support, early intervention, finance, fundraising, and customer care. The meeting is coordinated by our People and Culture Manager.   

  • Update from the CEO
  • Review of our new Covid-19 policy
  • Results from a staff survey – what are we doing well, what could we do better?
  • Brainstorming ways to support our team through the current lockdown

12.15 pm – Break time

I head out to my balcony and pat the neighbour’s cat while I have a quick snack.

3 liz

12.30 pm – Filming content for Speech Pathology Week

Next week is Speech Pathology week – this happens every year in August and is all about promoting our profession and the work done by Speech Pathologists with the 1.2 million Australians that have a communication disability.

As part of this, I put together some interview questions.

  • Why is it important to continue our work over telehealth during the lockdown?
  • What’s the best resource that we use each week for online sessions?

I film and record interviews on Zoom with 3 members of our Speech Pathology team, and send them over to our Marketing experts to edit together. The video will be released next week on our social media platforms.

4

1.30 pm– Screen break

It’s a fairly heavy Zoom day for me today – so I make sure that I take another break from my screen. I grab some lunch and go for a walk around the block. On the way I call my Team Leader to have a chat about the social event that we’ll plan on Zoom for our team next week. Last week we had a Baby Photo Quiz and it was hilarious! I check in with my housemate who is a high school English teacher and also teaching from home; and make us both a cup of tea.

2.30 pm – Clients!

This is my favourite part of the day – it’s why I get up in the morning – to make a difference for children with communication difficulties.
From 2.30-5.30pm I see children for their speech pathology sessions. Normally these sessions would be at our Peakhurst office, but at the moment during the lockdown everything happens online over Zoom. Each child jumps online for half an hour – it’s busy, and it goes quickly! Some of the children I work with need their parents to help them log on, and help them engage in the session. The older children are fairly independent and can navigate the sessions pretty independently!

In my online sessions – I use a mix of resources such as Powerpoint presentations, websites, PDF documents, simple games, videos, and online news articles. The children I work with have various diagnoses such as Global Developmental Delay, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Speech Sound Disorder and Hearing Impairment. Their goals are on improving their speech sound skills and language skills, so they can understand and communicate with others.

One of my clients who is 6 years old challenged me to learn how to draw a shark last week – so today I show him my efforts and he gives me 5 out of 5!

5

5.30 pm – Notes and finish

My sessions are done – as part of the legal and ethical responsibilities of our job, we have to document clinical notes which include the goals, activities and progress from our sessions. I do this using our online system (Salesforce), and email some follow up activities to parents that they can work on through the week.

At the end of the day I take a quick look at emails and go back to my daily plan to see if there’s anything I need to prioritise for tomorrow. I log off at 6.  

6-ish pm – Cooking

It’s my turn to cook tonight and it’s really a very short walk from my lounge room to the kitchen! I pop in my headphones and listen to an audiobook (Magda Szubanski’s memoir) while I make a noodle dish from my current favourite cookbook.  Around 7pm it’s dinner time, with icecream to top it off (we need to enjoy the little things in lockdown!). I talk to my 3 year old niece via video call just before she goes to bed.

8 pm – Chillout

I check the news, watch a trashy TV episode or 2 (True Blood – don’t judge me), and read a book to wind down before heading off to sleep around 11pm.