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Category Archives: Speech Therapy Motivation

3 Daily Positive Habits That All Speech-Language Pathologists Should Try to Adopt

3 Daily Positive Habits That All Speech-Language Pathologists Should Try to Adopt

As I think back to my time as a youngster, I remember all of the amazing teachers I’ve had the pleasure to learn from (hello to Mr. Miller, Mr. Rotante, and Coach Griffith!). All of the best educators that I’ve encountered in my life had one thing in common . . . they were positive people. Their positivity was absolutely contagious and now, as I continue to grow as a school-based speech-language pathologist, I want to continue to spread that positivity to as many students as I possibly can.

I’m going to share with you the 3 daily habits that I have added to my routine that I believe are helping to spread positivity in the lives of my students. I invite each of you to try on these habits to see if they fit you well (I know they will!).

1. Give more compliments!

When I walk down the hallway, en route to pick up a speech therapy group, I give compliments to random students I see. Whether I know ’em or not, I still throw compliments their way.

“Hey you! I like that Spiderman backpack.”

“Yo! Did you get a hair cut? It looks great.”

Little compliments like this can sure make someone’s day. You know how I know? Because I get all warm and fuzzy inside when someone gives me a compliment. And remember when I said that positivity was contagious? Well, I have been noticing that some of these random students will now shoot ME random compliments when they see ME in the hallway. Mission accomplished!

2. Ask for more directions!

When I walk down the hallway, I will often ask a random student for help by inquiring where a certain room is. For example, I might be going to pick up a speech group whose classroom is right by the gym. So I may ask a random student where the gym room is. Now, of course I know where the gym room is, but I randomly ask for directions because humans, by nature, are helpful creatures that love to help others, and children are no exception. So, why not give students more opportunities to be helpful? After I get the, “down the hallway and make a left” directions from the student, I give a huge high five and thank him for being so kind. Hopefully, our interaction positively impacted him in such a way that he will be just as kind to someone else’s question in the future. It’s all about planting those seeds of positivity!

3. Smile more!

Trust me, I know smiling isn’t the easiest thing to do sometimes. I know sometimes we feel overworked and overloaded, but positivity is a choice and we can choose to smile more. I smile at every single student that passes me. Even if the student is looking down at the ground while walking, I try my hardest to make eye contact with that given student so that I can give ’em a bright smile. Why? Because a smile from a teacher let’s the student know that I’m happy he/she is a part of the school community. A smile communicates that he/she matters. And guess what, that student does matter. Every single one does and they should be reminded of that every single day!

In closing . . .

Maureen from TheSpeechBubble.com said it best when she wrote,“even though many of the students I come in contact with during the day are not ‘mine’, in that they are not ‘speech kids’, they are all ‘mine’. They can all benefit from a smile, greeting, a ‘good job’, or ‘cool shoes’.” So do me a favor – give some compliments tomorrow, ask for directions tomorrow, and smile a bunch tomorrow. Let me know how all of that made you feel, and also, how you think all of that made the students feel. 😉

A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Speech Therapy Day – Keep Your Head Up

A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Speech Therapy Day – Keep Your Head Up

I don’t think there’s a single person alive who could honestly say that they’ve never experienced a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. As practicing speech-language pathologists, we know that some days are incredible, everything goes just as planned and the skies are sunny and crystal clear. But then, other days are not as picture perfect. I wanted to write this blog post today for anyone who might not have had the best day at work today. I want you to know that I feel your pain and it’s my hope that these digital words that I’ve typed bring you a bit of comfort because you deserve it, friend.

EEK!

Sometimes you’ll have one of those days where a student will hide and cry under your speech therapy table during the whole assessment, for what seems like no reason at all. You’ll feel defeated because you tried everything to cheer that student up and nothing worked. Trust me; we’ve all been there before. Just keep your head up because you’re amazing.

YIKES!

Sometimes you’ll have one of those days where you discover that your school building has 5 new students, all with speech IEPs. You’ll feel frustrated because you already have 60 students on your caseload and you just don’t know how it’s possible to provide any more services. Trust me; we’ve all been there before. Just keep your head up because you’re amazing.

AHH!

Sometimes you’ll have one of those days where you look into your SLP bag for your perfect, go to speech therapy material, but it just isn’t there. Then, you realize that you mistakenly left it at home on your kitchen table. You feel down on yourself because you can’t help but feel like you’ve let this particular student down. Trust me; we’ve all been there before. Just keep your head up because you’re amazing.

YEESH!

Sometimes you’ll have one of those days where you realize that it seems like every single piece of paperwork is due tomorrow. You’ll feel overwhelmed because you just don’t know how all of it could get done in time. You franticly scramble and feel exhausted in the process. Trust me; we’ve all been there before. Just keep your head up because you’re amazing.

In closing . . .

Let this blog post be just a small reminder that you were put on this Earth to move mountains. Glorious and huge speech therapy mountains. Any hectic situations you might have encountered today were simply just little hiccups that helped you to grow and get stronger. Tomorrow is a new day and I know that it’ll be better. So, keep on shinning like the bright and sparkly SLP diamond that you are because you are seriously the best SLP around.

7 Wonderful Things Happening Right Now in a Speech Therapy Room

7 Wonderful Things Happening Right Now in a Speech Therapy Room

I believe that sometimes we speech-language pathologists forget how much of a positive difference we make in the lives of those we work together with. In an attempt to remind myself just how special this field is and how we clinicians are helping to create the next generation of beautiful communicators, I have started doing a simple visualization exercise. Every single day at lunch, before I open my water bottle, I take a few seconds to imagine some of the wonderful things that I know are happening, at that very moment, in a random speech therapy room somewhere.

Today, I thought about the following 7 wonderful things . . .

  • Somewhere, a speech therapy student just correctly produced her target sound in isolation for the first time ever.
  • Somewhere, a speech therapy student just gave a flawless 5 minute presentation in front of his class, and he nailed every /R/ sound for the first time ever.
  • Somewhere, a speech therapy student just successfully followed a tricky three-step direction independently for the first time ever.
  • Somewhere, a speech therapy student just recalled all of the factual details of a complex story for the first time ever.
  • Somewhere, a speech therapy student just spontaneously used a new vocabulary word appropriately in conversation for the first time ever.
  • Somewhere, a speech therapy student just terminated a conversation meaningfully and politely for the first time ever.
  • Somewhere, a speech therapy student just looked into the eyes of his clinician and said, “I love coming to speech!” for the first time ever.

Now it is YOUR turn . . .

Will you think of this blog post tomorrow during your lunch break? Will you take a few seconds to imagine some of the wonderful things happening, at that very moment, in a random speech therapy room somewhere? I really hope you do.

Are You a Stressed Out Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Student? [Free Download]

Are You a Stressed Out Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Student? [Free Download]

Listen up, this blog post is for all you future speech-language pathologists out there. The ones who are currently fighting their ways through the jungles of graduate school – this one is for you. I know you’re probably thinking about final exams or the Praxis exam and you might be a bit stressed out (dare I say scared to death?). Well, I’ve been meaning to tell you that it’s okay to be stressed out and scared. Trust me. Everyone gets stressed out and scared, and if you ever meet someone who tells you anything different, don’t waste your time with that person because he/she is a liar, liar, pants on fire.

But what if I fail my final exam for (insert SLP graduate class title here) or what if I flunk the Praxis exam?

Trust me, you’re not going to. I know I don’t personally know you, but here is something that I do know – you are pursuing the field of speech-language pathology because you are obsessed with the beauty that is human communication. It pains you when a person is unable to effectively communicate. It brings you tears of joy when a person finds their voice. See, you are in this for the right reasons, and that alone will get you past any exam you need to take or hurdle you need to jump over.

But I really don’t know everything there is to know about speech-language pathology yet!

Guess what? I don’t either. There I said it and I am not embarrassed in the least. It is absolutely impossible to know it all. I have been a practicing speech-language for a number of years and every single day that goes by, I find myself saying, “Wow! I never knew that!” See, I learned something new because there is always something new to learn. I’ll be honest with you, you know more than you think and once you enter the field and start working, you will know and learn even more. That is how you will grow as a professional because that is how we all grow as professionals.

Silence those monsters and kick ’em to the curb!

You know those negative thoughts in your brain? They are all made up. They are lies. They are the same thing as those spooky little monsters under your bed – simply shadows caused by something that isn’t real. So just relax, shut your eyes, take a deep breath, and tell those monsters to hit the road because they can’t hold you back. You were put on this Earth to do awesome things. So go get ’em tiger!

Need some more motivation? How about this FREE DOWNLOAD?

Click HERE to download your very own SLP graduate student motivational poster. I made this just for you. Your mission is to hang this poster up and read the words on it every single day. Will you accept your mission?

In closing . . .

SLP_Echo (one of my fav blogs) just wrote a spectacular blog post where she offers interviewing advice to future SLPs trying to get admittance into a SLP graduate school. Though her post focuses on students interviewing with graduate programs, I believe that the content is extremely relevant for any newly graduated (or soon-to-be graduated) SLPs who are thinking about what the interview questions will be like as they interview for their first SLP job. This post is one of those things that I wish I had a few years back, so please do yourself a favor and check it out.