The end of the school year for an SLP can be sheer chaos sometimes. Between finishing final IEPs and evaluations, progress reports, extra meetings for planning ahead for the fall, etc it gets a bit nuts. So when the light at the end of the tunnel appears here are some things you can start to do to make coming back ( I know you don’t want to think about it, but it is going to happen ) smoother and less stressful.
After nearly a decade as a school SLP I have tried a system or two ( ok, more like 5 ) to help me get a jump on things so when I come back in the fall it isn’t so overwhelming. Out of all the things I have tried here are the my top 5 things to do now, so you can enjoy your summer and not fear fall.
BRUSH UP ON BILLING
Basically, make sure you have all of that boring billing checked off of your list. After you’re done, recheck each student just to make sure everyone is squared away. The last thing you want is a call from your school asking about missing billing while your sitting on the beach trying to enjoy the ocean breeze. This may seem like an item that doesn’t need to be really put on a list but you would be surprised how easy it is to forget that you didn’t put in little Jimmy’s minutes because you got a phone call from a teacher that a student’s AAC device was acting up…see what I mean. Taking a bit of time now can avoid a potential big headache later.
CLEAN YOUR CLOSET
Ok, this is a figure of speech here…unless your room is actually a closet, then we need to have a different conversation. Click HERE for that kind of chat. Here however, I am talking about weeding out materials that might be taking up precious space. Go through and look at your activities, what did you not touch? What did you maybe grab only once? Think about what you maybe haven’t used in years or what materials are out of date…yes I’m talking about that game that the old SLP left for you that is yellowing and talks about objects that the kids have never heard of, i.e. ‘ Johnny got his walkman, what will he do next?’ I may have been accused of being a pack rat at times. I tend to tell myself, ” But I might be able to use it…” or ” it has a few good pieces to it.” If this sounds like you we should probably be friends. It can be tough but go through your materials. If you haven’t touched it in two years if should probably find a new home, even if it is the recycling bins. You most likely haven’t used it because you have something that is better and meeting your ( and your student’s needs ) for whatever the target is.
Reflect on the year. What worked? What didn’t? Now, this is not supposed to be a free chance to knit pick yourself on all the things that went wrong or weren’t perfect. Perfect does not exist. So when everything that didn’t go great comes flooding into your mind, STOP! What were the first two things? Those are probably the most important ( to you ) and biggest things you will want to take some time to tinker with. Grab a cup of coffee and some paper, mull it over. Was it your data collection method that you feel could be more streamlined and efficient? Was it being more organized? Maybe you want to use more books? Whatever it may be, pick the two and write them down. You don’t have to fix them that day or even over the summer, you do need some downtime after all. Just put them on your list so you know you wanted to adjust them and tackle when you feel motivated.