Us school-based speech-language pathologists have to provide speech therapy in unpredictable environments. Sometimes that can get tricky. For example, at any given moment a fire drill could go off, or one of my students might need to go to the nurse, or maybe I might need to cancel a session or two due to myself needing to attend an unexpected child study team meeting. Sounds all too familiar, right? Ah, the life of a school SLP, expect the unexpected.
Sometimes that unexpectedness gets me a bit frazzled.
From this frazzle-ness (is that even a word?), I often find myself not remembering to “stop and smell the roses.” What I mean by that is I tend to not see the magic in the tiny details within my speech therapy sessions that I absolutely should be seeing.
Magical and tiny details?! Say what?!
There are magical, tiny details happening each and every single day within your speech therapy room. You just need to remember to open up your eyes and ears. For example, remember that one time when that one student of yours laughed so hard at one of your silly jokes and you thought his head was about to pop off? That right there, that was TOTALLY a magical, tiny detail!
Write things like that down.
I’ve started to do it all the time. Each time I’m presented with a magical, tiny detail, I try to grab a small piece of paper and jot it down. Then at the end of the day, I usually put it in a jar. It’s loads of fun to collect magical, tiny details. Here are some other magical, tiny details that I’ve collected and added to my jar over this past academic school year:
- That one 1st grader who said she was very excited to come to speech therapy today. So cool!
- Overhearing that one 3rd grade boy tell his classmate that I was one of the “cool teachers.” Awesome!
- That excited look in my 2nd grader’s eyes when he realized that he had enough stickers to go to the speech therapy prize box. How cute!
- That 7th grade student who genuinely asked me how my weekend was. So mature!
- That 4th grader who told me that she might want to either be a “president of a huge company” or a “speech teacher” when she grows up. Magnificent choices!
- That one time when I had the hiccups during a speech therapy session and all three of my 5th graders were trying so hard to scare me in hopes that my hiccups would go away. Hilarious!
- That moment a 1st grader ran up to me in the morning shouting about how excited she was because she finally got the puppy she wanted and how she “couldn’t wait to tell me all about it in speech therapy later.” Gosh, so fantastic!
- That 6th grader who asked me if I got a haircut and then proceeded to say, “Yea I thought you did. You look cool.” Right on!
- That one 1st grader who told me, “You don’t look old. You look like you’re 20.” So flattering!
In closing . . .
My wish for you is that you don’t let magical and tiny details in your speech therapy sessions go unnoticed. Be in the moment and let those tiny, magical details sink into your heart because those moments are the moments that bring us SLPs the most joy. They fill our souls with warmth and are often delightful, little reminders to us that we are a part of the best darn field in the entire universe. The field of speech-language pathology. It just doesn’t get any better than that. So remember, write those magical, tiny details down.