As mom to two teens, I am acutely aware of the impact social media has on our perceptions of others and the “keeping up” mentality it so often elicits. While we have frequent discussions at home about the fantasy world individuals tend to offer up, I needed to step back and realize that I, too, can unintentionally fall into this trap.
I post regularly, here, on Instagram and Facebook, and nearly always post the successes and good days. Not because I’m attempting to cultivate a “perfect SLP” persona, but because it feels like the “this worked” posts would be more beneficial than a stream of “another child who has never completed our homework continues to make little progress” or “that session was cut short by a messy accident/spilled meal/sniffling-sneezing-cough that required a clean-up crew and nearly sent me home to shower.”
SLP Runner is currently challenging SLPs to talk about their weaknesses turned strengths. So, here I am to discuss a weakness that covers a secret strength and offering a reminder to all of us that perfection is not just unattainable, but undesirable.
I’m introverted and I don’t feel a pressing need to converse; odd for an SLP, right? Growing up, I would have been more than content to parallel play—in silence—for hours. I sat back in the classroom and seldom offered my opinion. Even, today, if you need someone to wait quietly with you in a waiting room or to walk with, I’m your gal.
But all of that not talking has made me an extremely low risk playmate for my speech students. You know those quiet, anxious kiddos? Because I’m not overwhelming and I can wait very patiently, for an extremely long time, they tend to open up—often a whole lot. You know those slow as molasses processors whom you wonder if they even have the skill at all? I can comfortably wait for those correct responses so we identify exactly where the real deficit is.
I can put on a show and chit-chat for hours with good friends, but at my core I’m an observer. I know ability to keep quiet provides the perfect opportunity for my students to get talking.
I’ll be at the ASHA convention this week, so there won’t be a Thursday post. Please check in on Instagram to keep up with the fun in Denver (and if you’re headed there yourself, please find me!).
For more “Weaknesses Turned Strengths” click here. And, by all means, tell us one of your weaknesses (and why it’s actually a strength) below.