How to Happily be an SLP #1: Cumulative Speech Therapy Planning

As a former school-based SLP, I have lived and reveled in the life of working in the schools.  As a former district and regional lead, I have supported many (happy and unhappy) SLPs.  And, now, I currently serve clients through our clinic.  I would like to share my insights on how to work as an SLP effectively, efficiently and happily.  Join us as we roll out our series on how to be a productive and happy SLPs.

Here is my first tip—make your efforts cumulative.  Year after year, we gear up for the new school year or a new clinic caseload.  And, it seems like our job should get easier, right?  Math is not my forte; however, the following Equation-of-SLP-Ease should be applicable:

School-Based SLP

According to my algebra,  for every year of SLP-service I put in, my effort should feel less….difficult.  However, based on the input of SLPs, this is far from the truth. This is because our daily endeavors are not cumulative.  What am I talking about?  Each time you put work towards creating materials,  you need to organize it, label it and keep it for next year.   I promise you will have another student or group that will benefit from the same materials in the future.  Keep the materials in one of the following, awesome therapy-keepers:

School-Based SLP

Option #1:  A notebook

School-Based SLP

Option #2:   A clear box

School-Based SLP

Option #3:  A shared drive

I remember walking into Aimee’s room, and she had labeled boxes on her shelves for every thematic unit she had.  When it was time to use her box for The Very Hungry Caterpillar, she just pulled her box off the shelf, and she had her materials for an entire month.  You could even take it one step further.    In my former district, SLPs shared all of their materials with each other on a shared drive.  So, I have the therapy materials of almost 50 SLPs at my fingertips.  Google Drive or WikiSpaces are some of our favorite places to save and share information with fellow SLPs.

Make your work cumulative, and I promise it will get easier every year.  Stay tuned for the last four installments of How to Happily be an SLP in 5 Easy Steps.  Next, we will talk about Step 2: Choose Articulation Therapy Activities that Lead to Quick Dismissals.

Written by: phuonglienpalafox

2 Comments on “How to Happily be an SLP #1: Cumulative Speech Therapy Planning”

  1. October 23, 2015 at 7:47 am #

    Where is the rest of this article?

    • October 23, 2015 at 8:07 am #

      Hi Tina,

      The next four installment of this series will be rolled out in the next four weeks. Next week, we will be talking about an articulation therapy strategy that will make your efforts more effective and efficient. I’ve used it for over 10 years, and I am able to get my students and clients working on articulation (typically) graduate in a few short months. We will also tackle great speech therapy materials, collaborating with teachers (as a school-based, clinic-based and home-health-based SLP) and the most important part of staying in the field as an SLP–remembering your “why”. Tina, let us know your biggest challenges as an SLP, and we would love to support you. Thank you for taking the time to be a part of our SLP-journey.

      Take care,
      Phuong

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