“Erik, in your opinion what is one thing that I can do to become a better speech-language pathologist?”
That’s a question that I often get from people during my various workshops (and it’s really is a spectacular question). Welp, today is your lucky day because I’m going to give you not ONE, but TWO suggestions that just might change the atmosphere and overall culture of your speech therapy room for the better.
1. Know your kiddos
In my humble opinion, all amazing SLPs know their students on a personal level. Remember to talk to them during the speech therapy sessions. Do they have any pets? What is their favorite cartoon? What is their favorite breakfast food? Not only do you ask them, but also make it a point to specifically bring up the information you know about them. For example, if your student didn’t complete his speech homework and you know that he has a dog named “Princess” – why not say something like, “Oh no, let me guess, Princess ate your speech homework, huh?” Trust me, when a student sees that you remember things like that, the connection that the two of you will make will be fantastic!
2. Show up for your kiddos
Are you looking to be just an okay SLP? Or, are you looking to be an A+ and top notch SLP? (Actually, you don’t even have to answer because I know you want to be the best!) Well, in my humble opinion, the best SLPs attend school events here and there. Does your school have a holiday chorus concert coming up (and you know that a bunch of your speech students are also in the show)? That’s the perfect opportunity to make a strong connection with your students. When you are seen by the students and parents at these types of performances, it helps them to know that you care and support them!
In closing . . .
I have made a very conscious decision to practice these suggestions and it has helped me and my students a great deal. I hope you give them a try, too! Please shoot me an email and let me know how it goes. Stay awesome and I look forward to hearing from you.