Motivation, humor, and ideas that every speech-language pathologist who works with children will love!

Category Archives: Speech Therapy Motivation

I Seriously Take the Internet for Granted

I Seriously Take the Internet for Granted

Not too long ago I received an email of praise from a fellow speech-language pathologist. She wrote “I recently checked your site and signed up for your messages, I must tell you that I really appreciate your ideas and your way of dealing with stuff is great.”

Wow!

As if you couldn’t guess, I was happier than a bear swimming in a pool of honey while I was reading her words! Her message truly made my day, but here is a bit of information that will BLOW your mind . . . I purposely didn’t tell you where that speech therapist was from. She. Was. From . . . Lebanon!

That’s pretty far away from where I live (USA)

After receiving a message like that, I came to two conclusions I would like to expand on.

1. I seriously take the Internet for granted

I probably never would have met this woman from Lebanon face-to-face, but the Internet has made it possible for us to have a textual conversation. Her email made me stop and think a little bit more about what I already knew, but never truly appreciated: even though people might be separated by thousands of miles, time zones and sometimes even languages, we can still connect with each other and inspire each other with the click of a button.

2. I don’t thank people enough for sharing on the Internet

On any given day, I read 10-15 blog posts and articles online that directly relate to the field of communication difficulties. Those writings clearly impact me and help me to grow to become a better speech-language pathologist. But I hardly ever reach out and give the writer the genuine thank you that he/she deserves. I might convince myself I’m too busy that day – that I don’t have time to fill out those little comment boxes, or take the extra step to click on the author’s email address. But really, those things only take about 60 seconds to do. I’m going to try to remember to give praise, reach out and say thank you to authors and bloggers that have put valuable, free information in front of me. I encourage you to reach out and do the same. Thanking a stranger for their insight can make their day and it won’t make you feel so bad, either.

So much gratitude! So much!

Maria, thank you for writing me such a positive, thought-provoking email. And to everyone who visits my site, thank you for the support. It truly means the world to me to know that there is a community of like-minded people in this field who share my vision and passion for speech therapy. YOU ROCK!

Do You Use a Ladder to Get into a Pool? Or Do You Just Jump?

Do You Use a Ladder to Get into a Pool? Or Do You Just Jump?

Warmer months are finally here and boy oh boy, the weather sure has been hot. For most of us school-based SLPs, summer vacation is almost here! And you know what that means – sun tanning, barbecuing, and swimming in cool water. As a matter of fact, I’m currently writing this blog post while relaxing next to a pool. So let me take this moment to ask you a pool-related question that may or may not relate to pools once you really take the time to think about your response.

How do YOU get into a pool?

That’s a pretty serious question that I think you should consider. As I’m looking at this pool right now, I see 2 types of people – those who use the ladder to enter the pool and those who simply just jump on in. Which person are you? Do you play it safe and use the ladder? Ladders are pretty predictable. There is only one way to go down a ladder, putting both hands on each side and alternating one foot at a time to climb down. If that’s the way you want to enter the pool, that’s fine, but could you be missing out on something fun? Should you consider trying something else?

Jumping into the pool? Now that’s a bit more exciting. I believe that what makes it so exciting is the fact that there are just so many different jumping variations! How about a cannonball? Ninja kick? Flapping your arms like a bird? Back flip? I have seen all of these over the last 30 minutes, and to be completely honest, these unpredictable actions are nothing short of inspiring.

How do YOU do your speech therapy sessions?

Have you been using the same old and boring speech therapy materials for the past few years? Are you keeping speech therapy fresh and fun or are your students consistently falling asleep in class? Have you been thinking about doing something new, but opted not to because it would be “too much of a pain to put together, impossible to set up, really hard to create, etc?” Well, you need to stop making excuses and start doing it. Whatever it is, do it! Jump in, splash around, and let everyone know that you mean business. Because let’s be real, no one remembers the person who used the ladder, but everyone remembers the person who screamed and did the front flip into the water.

In closing . . .

You can dissect and analyze this blog post however you want. You can even argue that it has nothing to do with speech-language therapy at all. Well, I think it has everything to do with speech therapy and I think you might want to try to stop using the ladder from time to time. Let’s try our hardest to think outside-the-box and create some awesome speech therapy activities that our students will remember for years to come. Why? Because life is too short for snooze-fest speech therapy.

Ok, I’m off to go do a cannonball right now! Bye! LOL!

You Need to Thank Someone Right Now [Free Download]

You Need to Thank Someone Right Now [Free Download]

To be completely honest with all of you, I’ve wanted to be a speech-language pathologist since I was 6 years-old. I know that might sound cheesy, but it’s the truth. While all of my friends were saying popular lines like “I want to be a rock star, movie star, etc. when I grow up,” . . . I was the little boy who proudly shouted “I’m going to be a speech teacher when I grow up!” (In fact, check out the FREE DOWNLOAD at the end of this post to see what I mean, lol).

Those tricky /S/ and /R/ sounds

I had some extremely common articulation difficulties as a 6 year-old that included sloppy /S/ sounds and a far from perfect /R/ sound. I started to see a speech-language pathologist and within a year, I was able to make my sounds (yippie!). I had such a great time during my speech sessions that I knew I wanted to do that as an adult. In my 6 year-old mind, I thought the only thing we were doing was playing games, but it was not the only thing that was happening (as evidenced by my new found ability to produce the /S/ and /R/ sounds).

Learning CAN and SHOULD be fun!

We, as speech-language pathologists, have such a unique opportunity not only to combine learning with pure fun, but to influence and inspire by giving the gift of communication. There is no other job in the world like this and not a day goes by that I don’t thank my lucky stars that my family took me to see Miss R., the self-proclaimed speech lady, as a child.

Who has helped you?

So here is a question for you to ponder . . . none of us live in a vacuum; therefore who has helped you become who you are now? (And have you thanked them lately?) Miss R. passed away before I even graduated high school, but she helped to plant the speech therapy seed in my head. I really wish I could’ve thanked her as an adult for all she did for me as a child. I’m positive that she is smiling down on me every time I give one of my students a high five.

In closing . . .

So is there a phone call you need to make? Is there a letter you need to write? Chances are your answer is probably yes. Take this moment to contact that educator (or person in general) that has influenced you. Even if you have no idea where that person is now, you’d be amazed how simple it is to find them through the magical and mystical powers of the Internet. Trust me; you need to do this right now. Let me know how it goes.

Oh, and don’t forget about your FREE DOWNLOAD!

Click HERE to download your very own SLP poster that answers the age-old question of, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I pinky promise, it’ll make ya happy as a clam. 🙂

What Motivates You as an SLP?

What Motivates You as an SLP?

Not too long ago, I had dinner with a few of my close friends who are all involved in the field of speech-language pathology. We got on the subject of motivation and more specifically, “What motivates us, as speech-language pathologists, to do great work?”

In this profession . . .

  • You don’t make millions of dollars (you make enough to live of course, but no one I know is pulling in a lawyer’s salary).
  • There is no such thing as year-end bonuses (at least not to my immediate knowledge!).
  • You don’t ever really get a promotion or a title change (you pretty much enter as an SLP and retire as an SLP).

So . . . what motivates us?

It’s obvious to me that it clearly is not any type of external motivator.

After doing some digging online, I ordered a book called Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink, where the author actually debunks the power of external motivators, and expands on the intrinsic motivators that inspire us to do great work. He mentions three key points that drive creative thinkers: autonomy (self-directed work), mastery (getting better at stuff), and purpose (serving a greater vision). Super interesting information and I recommend you purchase his book.

Ah-ha moments!

There is nothing that gets me more pumped than when I notice a student’s “ah-ha” moment — when that child finally produces that sound perfectly. He looks at me and says, “Wow, I never knew I could say it that good.” Then I look at him and I say, “Pshh. I ALWAYS knew you could.” I used my creativity to put together an individualized approach to specifically target that child’s communication difficulty — and it worked. The child is smiling, I’m smiling, and for that brief moment in time, all the stars are aligned. That, in a nutshell, is what drives me. It’s a combination of the three intrinsic motivators that Daniel Pink speaks about. The work that a speech-language pathologist does is extremely purposeful and as cliche as this might sound, we truly make a huge difference.

What about you?

So with all that being said, what motivates you to be an awesome SLP? What gets YOU pumped? Why do you love this job so much?

In closing . . .

I believe it’s important for us to step back and truly think about these questions. Reflecting on these thoughts can make us even better service providers. In the end, we all want to be the best for our students because they are depending on us, and that’s what truly matters.

I like to share things on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat. Sweet!