Caseload Evolution

I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t make it as a classroom teacher.  All of those kids in that same room for the whole day seems excruciatingly long.  It’s like those years I stayed home with my little ones and was soooo grateful I could, but operated in a fog of exhaustion and lack of self identity. (Behavior management with a group that size isn’t my strong suit either.)

But there is something I envy about our general ed friends–they usually get what they signed up for.

I know there are years where the Kindergarten teacher is moved to 1st and I get the discomfort of change, but I feel like I don’t know what I’ll get from one year to the next or even the evolution of my caseload over the course of the school year. Anyone relate?

On paper, I’ve been (primarily) at the same school for ten years.  I’ve technically served K-12 for all of it although the reality is more K-Gr. 5.  Maybe five years ago they added early childhood and PreK programs so those came under our jurisdiction as well.

When I started, the de facto head of the speech department gave me all of the R and S lifers.  Especially the R ones.  It’s tedious because building a glorious R production can feel like building a skyscraper one brick a day.  One. Little. Brick.

Over the years, the speech department became a partnership of two with a more equal distribution of students and I had years of nearly exclusive early childhood/PreK (maybe my favorite) and lately settling into mostly K-Gr. 2.

But it’s not just the change in ages–it’s the needs too.  Lots of artic this year, all language the next.  Every other student needing support with social skills/regulation or phonological processing.

It keeps life interesting that’s for sure, but planning for the year can be tough.  How much shopping do you want to do at the back-to-school sale when you aren’t entirely sure what you’ll need this year?

I go back next week and I’m excited to see what this year has in store for me. Subscribers, I sent you the general outline of my therapy activities for September on Monday (if you subscribe this week, I’ll send you a copy too). Let’s see how closely my caseload matches my plan!

Let me know what your caseload is shaping up to look like in the comments below.



The views expressed in this blog are my own and are intended to inspire other speech-language pathologists in their own practice. If you are a parent, teacher or other educator, these ideas are not intended to take the place of treatment by a certified clinician. Read full disclaimer here.