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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.


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.



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  Think about what you maybe haven’t used in years or what materials are out of date…yes I’m talking about that game that the old SLP left for you that is yellowing and talks about objects that the kids have never heard of, i.e. ‘ Johnny got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.



Anything you can do now instead of fall, do it!  I am talking about getting IEP At A Glance papers done, maybe getting folders ready for the kids you at least know you will have, etc.  The little things that end up taking a lot of time. I always pre-stuff folders for the next year with a Meet the SLP page ( if you are a member of my Email Party aka newsletter, then you can find this template in The Speech Room. Just use the password ) and a page on why it is important to keep working on speech at home.  I also have a page from my Planner that I include in the folders for the parents to fill out to tell me about the kids.  Likes and dislikes just to help give me some info, even if I already know them things can change over the summer.


This might be the most important thing you do on this list. Every year is filled to the brim with events. Good ones and ones that may have been a bit tougher to get through.  On a post it or bright piece of paper, write down the top 5 things that you did well or went well this year.  Did your student who has struggled for year with R finally nail it? Did you finally get your student an AAC device? Maybe you found a diagnosis for a student that went undiscovered? Write down at least 5, but go ahead and list more if you want to, things that made you smile, that re-affirmed your choice to be an SLP. Once you are done with your list put it in your desk or a folder, something that when you walk in your room again on day one you will open and see it and be reminded that you do make a difference.   


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Meet Maureen

Hey there! I’m Maureen Wilson, a school-base SLP who is data driven and caffeine powered. My passion is supporting other pediatric SLPs by teaching them how to harness the power of literacy and data to help their students achieve their goals…without sacrificing time they don’t have.

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