Monday, July 27, 2015

5 Actions to Assure a Great School Year

Back to school next week?! Really? Where has the summer gone? Even though being an SLP is the best job ever, I'm still a little sad to say good-bye to my summer time routine.  I just realized I needed to get in the "Back to School" frame of mind so I started thinking about what I needed to do to have a successful school year.  After a little soul searching, I concluded there are five key actions which will assure a great school year, not just for me, but for everyone.

1.  Have a good attitude.  First and foremost, the importance of a good attitude cannot be underestimated.  Starting each day with a positive outlook is imperative to maintain a healthy and happy work environment. To maintain a positive attitude you should look for the positive aspects of every situation, remember to be thankful for the many blessings in your life, and surround yourself with positive people.

2.  Be adaptable.  After twenty-one years of working in a school system, I understand the value of being adaptable. With the crazy schedules SLPs maintain, being able to adapt to any situation is a necessity.  In order to be adaptable you need to keep an open mind, allow yourself to step outside your comfort zone, not be afraid to try new things, and forgive yourself if you make a mistake.

3.  Stay organized.  The beginning of the school year is so hectic. Unpacking and organizing the classroom, therapy materials, and files are always a priority.  Once you get everything organized, work extra hard to maintain this organization throughout the school year. To help with organization, write important dates and information in a planner and stay up to date with planning and paperwork. Do NOT procrastinate!

4.  Practice Patience.  These days I'm almost always in a hurry for one reason or another.  It's always rush, rush, rush and because of the advances in technology, I, like most others in our society, have become accustomed to having anything I want, anytime I want. Faster internet connections allow you to make instant contact with others, find an answer to a question, look up an address or a phone number, etc.  We've all become conditioned to immediate gratification.  When we don't get this gratification, we tend to become impatient with ourselves and with others.  To practice being more patient make a conscience effort to slow down and when you feel yourself beginning to become impatient, take some deep, relaxing breaths and focus on calming down.

5.  Be resourceful.  Last, but not least, if you are an SLP, you understand the importance of being resourceful.  Many school-based SLPs get stuck with less than desirable room conditions.  Over the past years, I have done therapy in closets, store rooms, and supply trailers. I quickly learned to make the best of what I was given. Thankfully, now I have a great classroom and office, but I know not everyone is so lucky.  With budget cuts, money for materials has been in short supply the past couple of years so I certainly recognize the relevance of being resourceful.  Fortunately, now with social media, being resourceful is easier than ever! Follow and join some SLP collaborative Pinterest boards. Check out these boards, SLPs on TpT and Materials Made by SLPs for SLPs. Read speech blogs. There are tons of resources available from some fantastic SLP bloggers. Use Bloglovin' to follow your favorite blogs.  You can't go wrong with Speech Room News and Speechie Freebies. These are two of our favorites :) Like SLP pages on Facebook to get great tips and ideas in your newsfeed. Allison's Speech Peeps and The Speech Bubble SLP are two good bets. Oh, and lets not forget Teachers Pay Teachers! There are some fantastic resources available on TpT and lots of them are free! We would love to have you follow us on all our social media sites:

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I hope you will find these five actions helpful to you this school year :) I will keep my fingers crossed that I can follow my own advice, lol! In any case, I have a feeling that Fridays are about to become a lot more important to me :)


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