Can you feel it, school SLPs?
We're in the home stretch! The downward slope! The downhill slide!!
The school year is almost over, but the end is crazy hectic!
There are still evals and IEPs to wrap up, ESY to complete and the dreaded progress reports!
Did you read my recent post about my new job?
I really thought this would be the first school year in 20 years that I would be spared from doing those things (at last!) but....NOPE. With an SLP out on maternity leave and no sub to take her place, I'm doing her gig (and her paperwork) at the moment.
That's OK. I'm actually relieved to be doing that the other 41 SLPs in my district are doing...because I never want to forget what school SLPs deal with - or how much they juggle.
I'm at the point of pure panic right now.
HOW WILL I EVER GET EVERYTHING DONE BY MAY 25?
(Yes, we get out early but we go back really early, too)
I'm teaming up with my blogger friends, The Frenzied SLPs, to share my tips for making it to that glorious last day of school :)
Yesterday one of my CF SLPs (the new graduate who took my place) texted me to ask what I send home for summer practice. I literally texted back, "Nothing - because by May I'm a loser."
She didn't believe me, but seriously, by late May it's just survival mode.
There was never any fluff or fanciness. On many days it took all I had to haul myself into work.
(I'm just being honest here.)
Well, you know how we love to teach our students strategies?
Well, I use some, too, to help me hang on until the end.
Here's what helps me :
Even though I love what I do, by May I'm exhausted.
I really have to "pep talk" myself on the way to work. Plain 'ole self-talk doesn't always do it so I have some friends help me out- you know Andy Grammer, Joshua Radin, Rachel Platten, Shakira. They get me ready for the work day! Try it :)
and my latest favorite from Zootopia....
We all know our students love rewards. Know what? I do, too!
To get through those tough weeks at the end of the school year, I reward myself!
First I make 1 massive To-DO list.
I LOVE crossing things off of my to-do list! It feels so good!
I make little deals with myself. Everytime I cross out an IEP that was due, I reward myself with a little something. Since I try to limit myself to 1 soft drink per day (I'm addicted to Coke Zero, okay). Sometimes it's a piece of candy (just like my students) or a few minutes of IG time! Reward yourself!
If the weather is beautiful, take therapy outside! Not only have my students always loved it, it always perked up my mood. Getting out from under the fluorescent lights and amidst the fresh air and sunshine can change your outlook and give you the lift you need to be productive and positive. Just sitting outside for a language lesson is a refreshing change. I've always loved playing articulation hot potato outside. Give each student a target word or phrase to say during the game; they must say it before passing the potato (I actually use seasonal objects rather than an actual potato ;) Not only does it tell me a lot about their carryover of artic, it's hilarious and fun, too! You can do the same thing with a beach ball - trying to keep it in the air while saying a target sound each time you touch it. Outside is the perfect place for water games, too. I made this simple competitive toss game for therapy with some large bowls from the Dollar Tree, sponges, and water! Oh, and I quickly printed the "point" signs.
Outside is also a great place for.. bubbles!
Bubbles always bring about lots of language and giggles, and giggles are good for the soul.
What do YOU do to stay the course?
Hang in there!
Summer is on the horizon :)