A few weeks after treading into social media waters with a blog and Twitter account, I received an email from Dean asking if she could post my Othello articulation ideas on her blog. Are you kidding?! YES!!! I couldn’t believe the luck of having an established SLP, not to mention product developer (remember Two Gals?), reach out to me. That was…nearly five years ago, and Dean is still one of my favorite #SLPeeps. Today she’s offering sage advice on handling the March Madness in your room. It’s so, so timely because I was just mentioning to someone that while it has taken FOREVER to get to spring break, I am SHOCKED at how quickly the end of the year is approaching!
Hello, Everyone! What a treat this is!
I think we all tend to panic a little in March for one reason or another. So many things to do:
- the annual IEP meetings to review progress and plan for the next year
- transition meetings for those 8th graders going on to high school
- or the sheer number of meetings that somehow increases until school is out
All these are enough to create panic in our work lives.
I, however, would find myself in a panic EVERY March, not because of the afore mentioned reasons, but from the realization that there is only two months of school left!
Without a real consciousness of it, I ALWAYS mentally took stock of my year and looked at where my kids were in their progress towards meeting their annual goals. Let me be quick to add here that yes, I was aware of their progress before March from sending those nine week progress reports home, but this was a different. March jarred me with the thought that we have so little time left to accomplish what we had wanted to do. Until March there seems to be plenty of time to meet those goals, but then March hits and I realize that I no longer have the school year to get it done. That is when I panic.
So what does one do when faced with these thoughts?
Get focused and get a plan.
- Look at your caseload realistically: Which students can meet their annual goals? Which students probably won’t meet them all?
- Make a plan to help those who can reach their annual goals finish strong.
- Make a plan to help those who will not meet ALL their goals finish strong.
How do you do that?
- Get your own beginning of the school year enthusiasm back! Most years are tough and we get bogged down with everything going on and it eats away at our enthusiasm. Shake it off (heehee, Taylor Swift comes to mind here.) Refocus your mindset to finish strong. YOU CAN DO THIS!
- Plan your therapy ahead. It doesn’t have to be anything written out in a lengthy fashion just know where you are going and jot down ideas of how to get your students there.
- Excite your kids. They probably are just as unmotivated as you. I can tell you that it is a universal reaction from kids to want to quit working after Spring Break. So let’s excite them by changing up their routine (your routine). Try a totally differ therapy techniques or activities that you wouldn’t normally do. If you don’t cook in therapy, perhaps you could try that. You don’t do therapy from a whole language perspective, why not try it? You’ve never tried literacy based therapy, give it a try.
I know many SLPs aren’t interested in purchasing and making new materials as we near the end of the year, but it might be just what you and your students need. New things are always exciting!
Leave me a comment below. Who else is getting a little nervous that the last day of school is looming and there’s still an awful lot to get done?!