Avoiding Burnout as a School Based SLP

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When I was in grad school, my parents met a flight attendant who was a former SLP. She told them that she just wanted to do something that wasn’t so stressful and overwhelming, and that she just couldn’t take it anymore.

As a student in the field, hearing this was disconcerting to say the least. I remember speaking to my internship supervisor about it at the time, and I recall that she reassured me that as long as you practice self-care, it is a fulfilling and manageable career, and you can avoid burnout. She was right. Some weeks are hard and others are wonderful, but the truth is, I love this field and I am SO glad I stuck with it.

These are some things that help me avoid burnout despite the everyday stress we all encounter.

Keep a hard copy calendar:

There is so much more to being a school SLP than diagnostics and therapy. We have duties, district level meetings, IEP meetings, BIP meetings, and the list goes on. Sure, your district might have an online system that reminds you when IEPs are coming due, but keeping a hard copy calendar will help you to keep track of EVERYTHING that is coming in one spot so much more efficiently. You will have a better grasp on when you are available and what things need your attention now vs. what can wait for tomorrow.

Don’t re-invent the wheel:

There are so many fabulous materials designed for Speech Language Pathologists, and those options just keep expanding thanks to websites like teacherspayteachers.com, where you can buy quality, affordable materials designed by other SLPs to target any age level or goal area. Don’t waste time making elaborate materials if you are feeling overwhelmed. Keep your materials organized by goal area and/or seasonally so that each year it gets easier to grab and go with your therapy sessions.

See our store here  for some time-saving materials you can use year round!

Ask for support:

Most of us have someone overseeing us at the administrative level, or at the very least a network of colleagues in other schools in the district. If you are sinking, they can’t always afford to send you full time relief, but they can almost always ask if anyone has availability to come help administer some screenings/evaluations for you to give you a chance to catch up. Just be prepared to return the favor if you ever find yourself all caught up! Our administrators don’t know we are experiencing burnout if we don’t communicate our needs to them.

Remind yourself of your professional successes:

Let’s face it. We didn’t go into the school setting because we thought we would get rich! You must have a real passion for helping people to do the work we do day in and day out, when other areas of our field (PRN Work, Private practice) could (in most cases) afford us a more comfortable lifestyle. Reflect regularly on where you have made a difference, even on a small scale. Do you have a group you’ve seen great progress in? Is there a student who has a voice through AAC because of you? Bravo! You are making a difference, in big ways and in small ways, every. single. day. Don’t let the stress of meetings and duties outweigh the joy that comes from that.

Don’t forget about your personal life:

Don’t lose sight of the things in your personal life that give you joy. These are the exact things that will refresh you when you feel the weight of your workload bearing down. Try to set time aside at least twice a week to stay refreshed by appreciating these small joys. For me, it is cooking a good meal, or playing a board game with my husband. For you it might be watching a TV show in the evening, or working out/meditating. No matter what it is for you, make sure that you take care of yourself so that you can continue doing the great work you do to take care of others.

If all else fails, remember that summer is just a few short months away!! 😀

Ana and Lacy
Do you have a tip for avoiding burnout in our field? Comment below to let us know!

Winter Freebies by Target Goal Area!

Hello everyone!

The holiday frenzy is coming to an end and it is time to start planning therapy for that long stretch between New Years and Valentine’s Day. Below you will find all of our favorite winter freebies organized by target goal area for your convenience! Enjoy, and happy planning!

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Articulation

/g/, /l/, /l/ blends, /p/, /r/, Vocalic /r/, /s/, /s/ blends, /sh/, /t/, /th/, /v/ and an open-ended page https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/FREEBIE-WINTERTIME-ROLL-COLOR-ARTICULATION-TARGETING-12-SOUNDS-979273

/s, z, r, th, l, sh, ch, j/ https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Freebie-Snowy-Speech-Articulation-Packet-477657

/g/ https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Articulation-Winter-Craftivty-Build-A-Speech-Igloo-G-FREEBIE-2002045

/k/ https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Freebie-Winter-Articulation-Crossword-981768

/th/ https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-Articulation-TH-FREEBIE-432581

/th/ https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-Spin-Say-Color-Articulation-Freebie-Initial-th-sound-2906546

/s, z, r/ https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/FREE-Holiday-Christmas-Winter-Articulation-Activities-989312

Initial /r/ https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-Articulation-Initial-R-1521359

/sk/ https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Browse/Search:winter%20articulation/Price-Range/Free

/s/ blends https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-Articulation-Practice-Santas-Snappy-S-Blends-1604411

/s/ blends https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Hot-Chocolate-Articulation-Craftivity-S-Blend-FREEBIE-1655822

 

Phonology

Phonological Processes Velar Fronting https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Phonological-Process-FREEBIE-Velar-Fronting-Minimal-Pair-Match-Up-3536795

Phonological Awareness https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Snowy-Phonological-Awareness-FREEBIE-445508

Phonemic Awareness S Blends https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/FREE-Blend-Color-Phonemic-Awareness-of-Winter-S-Blends-2341158

 

Language

Following Directions https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Snowman-Glyph-Activity-All-About-Winter-FREE-391079

Following Directions https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-Listen-Up-Following-Directions-FREEBIE-2917398

Following Complex Directions https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Following-Complex-Directions-Winter-FREEBIE-1012499

Vocabulary https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-Vocabulary-Cards-Freebie-1587594

Sequencing https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/FREE-Winter-Sequencing-Cut-and-Glue-Worksheets-1002366

Yes/No Questions https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-YesNo-Questions-1011867

Categories https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-Wonderland-Language-Activities-for-Speech-Language-Therapy-Freebie-419573

Category Sorting https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Mitten-Sorting-FREEBIE-Winter-Themed-Animal-Sorting-Activity-991308

Pronouns https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Pack-Of-Pronouns-Winter-Valentines-Day-Edition-1637593

Pronouns Interactive Book https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-Pronouns-Interactive-Book-Freebie-2307330

Third person pronouns https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-People-Sentences-Third-Person-Pronouns-he-she-they-445820

Verb Tenses https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Verb-Tenses-in-the-Winter-FREE-1603426

Basic Concepts Interactive Book https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-Clothing-Interactive-Book-2289761

 

Pragmatics

Winter Social Cues https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/FREEBIE-Winter-Social-Cues-2251923

Inferences https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-Inferencing-FREEBIE-1017448

Winter Clothes Social Story Boy https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/What-to-Wear-in-the-Winter-social-story-for-boys-483545

Winter Clothes Social Story Girl https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/What-to-Wear-in-the-Winter-social-story-for-girls-483592

Fact Vs. Opinion https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Freebie-Winter-Facts-and-Opinions-504148

Facts Vs. Opinion https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-Fact-or-Opinion-Sorting-Game-1590592

Pragmatic Problem Solving https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/No-Print-Interactive-Winter-Themed-Pragmatic-Problem-Solving-FREEBIE-2910255

Indirect Requests https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Indirect-Requests-Winter-2242675

 

Reading/Writing

Graphic Organizers https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-Graphic-Organizers-Freebie-465471

Reading Comprehension https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-Reading-Skills-Comprehension-Activities-Freebie-958007

Main idea https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Finding-the-Main-Idea-with-Non-Fiction-Text-Winter-Edition-SAMPLE-FREEBIE-1606232

Graphic Organizers https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-Graphic-Organizers-Freebie-465471

Open ended: for mixed groups and all those other goals!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-Holiday-Challenges-for-100-Repetitions-by-Peachie-Speechie-1005526

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Winter-Snowy-Day-Picture-scenes-An-Open-ended-Reinforcer-Activity-1642236

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Roll-Cover-Winter-1009077

 

Do you have a freebie you think belongs on this list? Comment on this post or email us at speechnteachtpt@gmail.com

Speech, Teach, and Love,

Ana

Cyber Monday deals for SLPs!

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We hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving with family and friends!

Cyber Monday is this coming Monday, November 27th, and we have been gathering some amazing deals for you! Have you had your eye on any of these great resources for speech therapy? Now is the perfect time to give them a try!

  1. SLP Toolkit: 50% off the monthly subscription rate for two months for new subscribers! The code is case sensitive and is CybMon17

https://www.slptoolkit.com/

Cyber Monday

  1. Super Duper Publications: 25% off Webber Card Combos! This one is good from Friday-Tuesday, so you can start shopping now!

https://www.superduperinc.com/

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  1. Teachers Pay Teachers: 25% off site-wide!!! The code is CYBER17

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/

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Be sure to check out our store and use the discount code CYBER17 for 25% off while you are there:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Speech-N-Teach

Speech N Teach

  1. SLP Now: $25 off the Yearly Materials/Tools Memberships or $37 off the bundle. The code is THANKFULSLP. (This discount is the equivalent to getting two months for free on top of the bundle discount!!)

https://slpnow.com/

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5. Speechpathology.com: Get a FREE bonus month & enjoy 13 months of unlimited CEU access!!! This deal is running today and tomorrow (11/27-11/28) with the promocode: 13MONTH

https://www.speechpathology.com

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6.  Speechbloguk: 20% off speech sound packs until Monday night with the code BLACKFRIDAY

https://speechbloguk.com

/Untitled7. Melocomm Speech and Language: The Melocomm Family Bundle will be just 12.99 (That’s over 25% off a bundle of six apps) and the self-analysis of stuttering app SASEA will be 50% off all day Monday!

http://www.melospeech.com/

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8. AHSA Store: 40% off everything today with the promo code: CYBER17

https://www.asha.org/eweb/OLSDynamicPage.aspx?Webcode=olsmainpage

 

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

9. Games: Revamp your reinforcers!!!

Toys R Us: 5.99 selected preschool games (trouble, candy land, chutes and ladders pictured in ad), 14.99 all Hasbro Jr. games and select family games, 10.99 select classic games, 20% off Apples to Apples and Uno games and other selected family games!
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Target: Cyber Week sales on Sunday, November 26th but the main event offer is 15% Off site-wide MONDAY ONLY. Target is offering free shipping and free returns on all orders. 20% off exclusive games here

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Walmart:  UNO card game is 4.89, Pie Face is 5.88! See all game deals here

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Amazon:

Save up to 50% on select toys from Hasbro Gaming, NERF, Play-Doh, and more here

amazon_com-500x50010. Craft Supplies: Put some of those crafty pins you’ve been saving to use!

Toys R Us: Buy one get one 40% off all CrayoladownloadJoann Fabrics: 2.99 shipping, 50% off entire stock of storage!

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Michael’s Craft: 50% off one regular priced item with the code 50SAV112617     60% off craft storage and 2017-18 planners by The Happy Planner!!!!

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Please see individual websites for terms/conditions and any potential changes to the above mentioned offers! This post has not been sponsored, and is just a collection of the best deals we could find online. We do have an affiliation with teacherspayteachers.com, where we have our own store, Speech N Teach, which will be included in the site-wide promotion.

Happy shopping!

Speech, Teach, and Love,

Ana & Lacy

Companion Activities for Wordless Picture Books

Have you tried wordless picture books with your groups?

If not, I highly recommend it. They open the door to discussion and allow for therapists to target SO MANY goals at once. They are also perfect for non-readers, and older students who struggle with reading and typically shut down when you pull out a book in a group setting.

You may be nervous to try a wordless picture book, but you’ll be relieved to find that there are already materials made to help guide you through how to best utilize them. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel! These five book companions provide fantastic ideas and resources for adding wordless picture books to your therapy tool kit.

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“Flora and the Flamingo” is an adorable book by Molly Idle, showcasing a girl who befriends and dances with a flamingo. The companion packet from Speech is Sweet is currently FREE on Teachers Pay Teachers. Download it now for following directions, “wh” questions, describing, sorting, and fl blend articulation printables.

 

 

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Mark Pett’s wordless picture book, “The Girl and the Bicycle” tells the story of a persistent little girl who diligently works towards her goal of buying a shiny new bicycle. Our companion activities include activities and worksheets to focus on skills including: inferencing, comprehension, story retell, sequencing, describing, comparing/contrasting, verb tenses, sentence structure, pronouns, qualitative & spatial concepts, articulation, and fluency.

 

 

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Bill Thomson delights readers with his book “Chalk”, about two kids who discover a magical bag of chalk on a rainy day.  You can download companion activities from Speech Time Fun that make it easy to target a wide variety of goals, including sequencing, “wh” questions, higher level questions, verbs, predicting, cause/effect, tier 2 vocabulary, and describing.

 

 

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“Tuesday,” by David Wiesner is a fun, wordless story about frogs on a frolic. The companion activities, created by A Green and Gold Speech Therapist will make it easy to use the book to target vocabulary, verb tense, adjectives, prepositions, sequencing, synonyms, comparing and contrasting, emotions, senses, articulation/phonology, and story retell. I really enjoyed using the open ended game board and card game that came in the packet.

 

Flotsam Final

“Flotsam,” by David Wiesner is about a little boy who finds a mysterious camera and had the pictures developed. Cathy Ruth has made an extremely unique lapbook activity to accompany the book. The lapbook format includes inferencing, illustration prompts, text-to-self application, map work, science and history connections, character study, and a flip-book study of reality versus fantasy.

NOTE: The books mentioned in this blog post are not included with any of the companion packets and must be purchased separately. The creators of these companion activities have no affiliations with the authors of the books, and have simply created speech and language activities can be used with the stories.

Speech, Teach, and Love,

Ana

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Fun With Familiar Games

Do you ever have students light up and say “Oh! I’ve done these before!” when you pull out a tried and true printable game? Kids love routines and they love things that are familiar.

Better yet, we don’t have to waste precious therapy time explaining rules when we could be getting high repetitions of therapy targets! We can also send printables home with the student after the session to use as homework targets and to keep parents in the loop about what we are working on in therapy.

Here are some of our favorites! We hope you enjoy them too!


  1. Our articulation and language maze activities are my favorite go-to no-prep printable for mixed groups. It is a life saver to have one activity that my articulation and language students can work at the same time. The language mazes are even divided by Level 1 skills (K-2) and Level 2 skills (3-6) for synonyms, antonyms, and multiple meaning words!Mazes
  2. These fantastic articulation puzzles for every month include the following sounds: p, b, m, n, t, d, h, w, k, g, f, v, s, z, s-blends, l-blends, r-blends, pre-vocalic r, vocalic r, l, ch, sh, th, and J.  My favorite thing about them is that they include a picture cue for each target word non-readers. They are a huge hit in my KG-3rd grade groups.Puzzles.png
  3. Our dot-to-dots are a no-prep printable that your students will love! They will connect a dot each time they say a target sound and to make form a picture. Each set has 20-25 words per page,  and each unit includes over 150 Dot-to-Dot pages targeting K, G, S, Z, L, R, SH, CH, J, L/R/S Blends, and Voiced & Voiceless TH! Each sound target is broken down by initial, medial, and final position of words PLUS by 1, 2, and 3+ syllable words!  Did I mention they are no-prep!?Dots
  4. These word searches provide a fun activity for students to do while waiting for a turn, and also make a great take home activity. I love the space provided to write a sentence using three words from the list.Word Search.png
  5. If you have ever played connect four, you will love this speech version called dots and boxes. My favorite way to use these is to laminate them and let students use dry erase markers to play so I can use them again and again as a quick, grab-and-go therapy session.Dots and Boxes.png

Do you have any familiar games you love to play with your therapy groups? We would love to hear about them in a comment on this post!

Speech, Teach, & Love,

Ana

Five Familiar Favorites