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:
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:
Option #1: A notebook
Option #2: A clear box
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.