May 20, 2016

It is the home stretch. Many of you are in your last week, weeks, or month of the school year. As excited as you are for summer to arrive, you are also knee deep in IEPs, evaluations, and have a sea of meetings to swim through before you get to the finish line. Oh - and groups of students continue to arrive on your doorstep. So how come you find you have the time to flip through Instagram, check your friends’ status updates on Facebook, or pay bills online?

They’re the adulting version of brain breaks. We are very savvy to the fact that our students need them. They are a quick and effective way to help activate, energize and stimulate their brains so we can get the most from them. But why don’t we use these same strategies for ourselves, especially during May, the craziest time of the school year?

Here are some great ways to refocus (other than social media) so you can power through your day:

  • Call a parent and share one great thing their child recently did in speech.
  • Do a lap around the campus.
  • Look at your to-do list and break it into smaller, more easily accomplished chunks.
  • Clean off one pile on your desk. (It can be a small one. :)
  • Make a list of things you love about being a school SLP.
  • Start a praise file by keeping track of the little comments and positive feedback you receive from students, co-workers and parents to reflect on when you are having a particularly rough day.
  • Write a thank you note to a colleague who has been particularly helpful this year.
  • Take 10 deep breaths - in through your nose - out through your mouth - chest rising - belly expanding - ahhhh…
  • Write a letter to your students and seal it in an envelope to be opened on a certain date in the summer - it can be to remind them of their goals and an idea of how to practice or just to say hello and you can’t wait to see them when they return.
  • Back up your important files on a thumb drive.
  • Make a list of things that you would like to create better systems for when you return next school year. You don’t have to act on them yet - but write them down while it’s still fresh.
  • Plan an end of the year party/recognition for your students.

There is no tired like the tired you feel at the end of the school year. Just know that you are almost through. You’ve done a fantastic job for your students all year - don’t forget to fit in a little time for yourself, too.

Check out this video as Sarah and I discuss the topic in more depth below: