My colleagues and I are fortunate to have the opportunity to work with incredible speech-language pathologists all over the United States. It is an awesome profession we have, and we love our work. BUT…there is a resounding theme that we keep hearing from all of you, and we agree:
I HAVE TO DO MORE WITH LESS.
Okay, we can take on a challenge, right? But it seems that every year we are asked to do more and more and more with less andless and less. More paperwork, more meetings, more special education requirements, more students. Less time, less money, less staff, and fewer resources. And we can do it, yes.
BUT AT WHAT COST?
This is where the big problem comes in. It’s the one that will drive us out of the field if we are not careful. It’s THE LOSS OF CREATIVITY.
A couple of different events recently got me started thinking about this.
First, a couple of weeks ago I had the chance to catch dinner with one of my grad school friends. She is one of the absolutely mostcreative people I have ever known. She used to make her own puppets and put on puppet shows with her students. She used to go out and collect old sofas on bulky item trash day and turn them into amazing creations. She invented a travel device that everyone needs. You know when you fall asleep with your mouth open on a plane and maybe drool a bit on your shirt? She created something that props your chin up so you don’t have that problem. I don’t think she ever marketed those, but she sure had fun making them.
So the sad thing that she told me over dinner was that she doesn’t have time to be creative any more. She said that her school caseload has gotten too big and she spends too much time doing paperwork and there is NO MORE TIME FOR CREATIVITY.
Gone. That’s it. How terrible!
Next, another good SLP friend of mine gave me a book to read for the new year. It’s Seth Godin’s The Icharus Deception. Seth Godin thinks we all need to find ways to be creative. He says that our society is stamping out our creativity. And here is my favorite quote from his book so far:
Art is an attitude, culturally driven and available to anyone who chooses to adopt it. Art isn’t something sold in a gallery or performed on a stage. Art is the unique work of a human being, work that touches another.
UNIQUE WORK THAT TOUCHES ANOTHER.
I like that.
In the 15 years since I started Bilinguistics, I’ve always felt that our creative works are the critical things that drive us and make our field better. Within our team we share our creative works with each other. It’s energizing AND helps us be more efficient. I grow as a professional because of the people around me and, as a group, we accomplish far more than we would as individuals. We’ve created some great products and resources that people all over the country now use to make their work days better. That’s pretty cool, isn’t it?
So, fellow SLPs, I challenge you as you start this new year to resolve to be a little bit creative every day. Create things that inspire you. Create things that help someone. Help everyone do more with less. Share your ideas with your friends and colleagues. In fact, share them right here. What will you do that’s creative, SLPs?