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Category Archives: Speech Therapy Motivation

Giving Awards to Fellow Speech Pathologists Is Extremely Fun

Giving Awards to Fellow Speech Pathologists Is Extremely Fun

It was a Wednesday morning in April. It was raining (April showers bring May flowers). I was almost running late to work because my little dog was being a bit finicky with going to the bathroom during our morning walk (she doesn’t like it when it rains). After politely asking Stella to, “Go pee pee please,” she finally listened. Phew! “Now I won’t be late for work.” I confidently said to myself as I smiled.

I took her inside, gave her a treat, and bid her a fond farewell.

Then, out the door I went. Umbrella in hand, I dodged raindrops like a pro. I leaped over the puddles with such precision. All in all, I made it to my car not nearly as wet as I thought I was going to get. I celebrated my dryness victory with a sigh of relief as I lowered my booty onto the driver’s seat.

Or maybe I celebrated too soon?

As soon as I sat down behind my steering wheel, my butt got soaked. Why? Ya see, as I was driving home from grocery shopping the evening before, it was uncommonly warm. Something like 50 degrees. So I rolled the one window down on my side of the car to take in the fresh air as I glided down the street. Had I known that I would have forgotten to roll the window up all the way once I was done with the food store, I just might have NOT rolled down the window at all (who needs fresh air anyways? LOL!). Rain water was all over the driver’s seat because of my mistake.

It was only a crack, but that’s all it needed.

I almost rolled the driver’s window up all the way the evening before. Almost. But there was still a tiny sliver to go and that tiny sliver was enough to drench the driver’s seat. I sat right in it and immediately felt the wetness. So I did what any other smarty pants would do to save his pants, I took off my jacket and placed it on the seat as a type of protective layer between my behind and the moist car seat. What a crumby day this was turning out to be.

I finally made it to work, but yeah, I was late.

I was only a couple of minutes late, but late is late. I signed in at the front office of my middle school and there was a teeny tiny red L next to my name on the sign-in sheet. *Sigh.* Maybe the L was for lovely? But probably not. I think it meant late. Ok. Off to the speech therapy room I went.

Can this day get any worse?

I’ve written about terrible, horrible, no good, very bad speech therapy days before on this blog and I was sure that this Wednesday was right on track to taking me straight to Yuckville, USA, population: me.

But it all turned around because someone sent me an email!

As I opened up my laptop to check my email before the morning’s first group session started, I saw a message from a past co-worker. The email was simple, just a couple sentences: “Just thinking about you. Hope all is well. I made you an award. Hehe!” And there was this file attached to the email.

Wow. Just. WOW!

I forgot about all the not-so-wonderful morning stuff that happened to me. All of it. This simple act of kindness, via email, warmed my heart. So I instantly printed out the attachment and proudly tacked it on the corkboard behind my therapy table. A speech award!? YES! I was now an award-winning speech-language pathologist. SCORE!

Let’s spread the love.

I’m not writing this post to brag about the fact that I was recently the recipient of this spectacular SLP award from a buddy of mine. Nope. Not one bit. I’m writing this to encourage YOU to do the same for a colleague or co-worker in YOUR building. You can make the award over at Thousands Under 90. Just visit that website on your computer, type in the awardee’s name and job title, then tap ‘Award Me.” From there, you’ll see the customized award, in all its glory. At the bottom of the award, you’ll see directions on how to save the award by taking a screenshot of it. After you did the screenshot thing, you can totally email the screenshot to the person you made the award for!

In closing . . .

Somtimes life can get rough and tough but with positive thoughts and kindness, we have the ability to woosh away even the biggest amount of rain clouds. So do me a favor, think of your favorite colleague or co-worker and GIVE ‘EM AN AWARD. Spread the love and let ’em know how much you appreciate his awesome ways or her spectacular style. The person deserves to know. Am I right? Yes, I’m right. Happy award giving!

The Tiny and Magical Details in Speech Therapy Bring the Most Joy

The Tiny and Magical Details in Speech Therapy Bring the Most Joy

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.

When Was the Last Time You Thanked Your Old Professor or Supervisor?

When Was the Last Time You Thanked Your Old Professor or Supervisor?

When I think back to the earlier days of my voyage towards becoming a speech-language pathologist, the first images that come to my mind are visions of my old professors and supervisors being quite helpful. Those intelligent and accomplished souls took time out of their busy days to teach me as much as they possibly could, all in an effort to get me as prepared as possible to make a positive impact in the lives of individuals with various communication difficulties.

I have so much gratitude for them and what they did for me.

And sure, we all know that professors and supervisors get paid to do that kind of stuff. It’s their job to teach their undergraduate and graduate students the ins and outs of communication sciences and disorders, but there are just SO many educators out there that consistently go above and beyond the call of duty.

Wouldn’t you agree?

I know you’ve had at least one professor or supervisor in your life like that and I can bet that he/she has taught you a thing or two (or ten!) about all things SLP. So check this out, I wanted to take this moment to ask you the following question:

When was the last time you reached out to him/her to say thank you?

I want to challenge you to do something today. Not tomorrow or over the weekend, but TODAY. First, think of that one professor or supervisor that you feel always went above and beyond the call of duty for you. Then, no matter how long ago you had that educator, email him/her to say thank you. Was there a particular piece of content that you learned from that educator where each time you come across it in your professional life, it reminds you of him/her? Did one of the stories that he/she shared in a particular class resonate with you in such a way that you still think about it? If so, mention mention those things to that person in an email as a way to show genuine thanks! Communicate your gratitude because he/she deserves to know. Am I right?

In closing . . .

Are you up for my challenge? Will you take this moment to pause what you’re doing and reach out to your favorite professor or supervisor to give ’em props for being so dang cool? I hope you do. And here’s the thing, maybe it was a long time ago and maybe you haven’t contacted this educator in forever. Don’t worry, it’s fine. Don’t let the lapse of time keep you from saying thank you. Trust me, no matter how long ago ago it was, that educator WILL remember exactly who you are and your words of thanks will fill that person’s heart with joy. Remember, our old professors and supervisors have all played a part in helping us to become the marvelous speech-language pathologist that we all are today. So please, do accept my challenge to thank ’em and let me know how it goes.

Speech-Language Pathologists Need to Relax

Speech-Language Pathologists Need to Relax

Right now, I have something like 17 unread emails in my work account. I’m trying to muster the strength to open them but I can’t. I’m dreading opening the messages because I already have so much to do and I just know that they all contain new things to plop on top of my already overflowing plate. And so is the life of a school-based speech-language pathologist. *Sigh*

Breathe. Just breathe.

Please raise your hand if you’ve been in this type of situation before. As clinicians, our days are always jam-packed with therapy, case management, creating homework packets, testing, report writing, emails, phone calls, so on and so forth. All of this could become suffocating, but we must breathe and try to stay calm. Don’t let your stress get the best of you and your magical speech therapy ways!

Here. I wrote this just for you.

This blog post is to be read at night after you had a long day in speech land. Listen, believe me, I know it’s NOT unusual for us SLPs to go above and beyond the call of duty with everything we do. I get it. I truly do. However, I feel it’s vital for us to not forget about ourselves and our well-being. We must not burn out! So, in an effort to save you from crashing and burning because of the anxiety of our never-ending to-do list, I’m going to give you the permission that I know, deep down inside, you’re craving.

  • Tonight I give you permission to not open up your laptop to work on progress notes. That can wait until tomorrow. Instead I give you permission to watch your favorite show on Netflix!
  • Tonight I give you permission to not open up your laptop to finish scoring that assessment you gave today. That can wait until tomorrow. Instead I give you permission to go to the gym!
  • Tonight I give you permission to not open your laptop to check to see if your coworker responded to your email about scheduling the new student that just moved into the district. It can wait until tomorrow. Instead I give you permission to meet up with your friend at your favorite coffee shop!
  • Tonight I give you permission to not open your laptop to go on Facebook, Twitter, Teachers Pay Teachers, Pinterest, Etsy, or any other website that SLPs love to frequent. Instead I give you permission to go to bed early because you earned it!
  • And most importantly, tonight I give you permission to look at your bathroom mirror, smile, and remind yourself that you’re doing a terrific job. This world just wouldn’t be the same without you. Thank you for all that you do with your students in speech therapy.

In closing . . .

Do you know an SLP who might need this post right now? Is that colleague currently overwhelmed? Do me a favor and share this post with him/her. We all need to stick together and sharing some comforting words with one another is always key. Blogs posts have the ability to inject a great deal of warmth into the soul of a person who needs it. That’s all I want from this post, to positively impact people that need a little pick me up. 😉