Falling into Good Habits as a School SLP

I don’t know about you, but there are days when I certainly need a reminder to deliberately work on building good habits at work. We all know the saying that your thoughts become actions and then habits. However, how often do you really evaluate the impact that your thoughts, habits, and actions have on your work relationships and performance?

I decided to share my three tips that will keep you falling into good habits as a school based SLP. These are the tips that I shared at the beginning of the school year, but I know that we can benefit from a refresher so that we are continuously building successful lives of all our wonderful children with special needs.  

Tip # 1

By now I am sure that you have found your rhythm as far as providing group speech-language therapy sessions. There is always plenty to juggle along with typical direct intervention sessions. Evaluations. Therapy Sessions. Progress Notes. RTI. Progress Monitoring. IEP Meetings. Staff Meetings. SLP Department Meetings. Data Entry. Medicaid Billing. PTA Meetings. Etc. Etc.

I think that is critical to remember that each day as a speech-language pathologist you are called to provide the best therapy services to children and adolescents. Regardless of how many staff meetings you need to attend, bus duty days or extra hours you work, it is important to focus on the purpose that you serve. I believe wholeheartedly that we are all building successful lives of the children that we serve. Communication and language skills are in fact foundations for social, academic, and life success. What an awesome opportunity we have as SLPs to improve the communication and language skills of children with communication disorders! So on those days that seem so overwhelming, please remember to especially focus on the success of children.

Tip # 2 

Colleagues will be more productive collectively when a school culture of positivity is cultivated. You can help create and maintain this culture by your words, actions, and habits. Be mindful about the conversations you have in the staff lounge, email, hallways and in meetings. Yes, I understand that you will have days when something or someone really irks you. However, I recommend making an effort to understand another person’s perspective and help find solutions when challenges arise. Do your words build others up or tear them down? I also believe that you will feel refreshed when you refresh others. Everyone can use a little encouragement from time to time whether they think they need it or not. Make having an attitude of gratitude a part of your daily routine. Try it out and you’ll see how positivity and kindness can be contagious!  

Tip # 3 

You may help sponsor an extracurricular club, participate in a school fundraiser such as Relay for Life, attend PTA meetings, or school chorus concerts. Your speech-language therapy students and families will be so happy to see you outside of your usually role in the speech-language therapy room or classroom. I believe that doing so not only helps you further build rapport with children and families but also with your school community as a team player. As a speech-language pathologist, we need to educate colleagues and families about our job description but also demonstrate that we care about the success of all children in various avenues of their lives.  

I have some freebies in my TPT curriculum store that will remind you of these tips. Click here to access my 7 Keys for a Successful School Year and Communication Tips for Colleagues.  

I’d love for you to stay connected to me throughout the year. You may subscribe to my blog, follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and/or follow me on Facebook. I look forward to keeping in touch via social media world! 🙂

Tamara Anderson

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