Back to school time is super overwhelming. And really, who wants to think about it at any other time? Not me. However, the reality is that I DO think about it - All. Summer. Long. It hangs over my head and stresses me out.
So, I've put together a little list of some small tasks you can do now to help you ease into the school year later.
1. Learn something new
You know that disorder you wish you knew a little more about? Or how about that online training that would be so valuable to you, but doesn't offer ASHA credits (gasp!)? Set aside ONE day this summer to complete a training that will further your clinical skills for the school year.
2. Organize your computer
What if you could open your computer on the first day of school ad truly feel like you were looking at a clean slate? Ahhhh. Bliss. Take a day this summer and organize your files. Every year I make a new folder titled with the last school year's dates (i.e., "2017-2018") and anything that isn't relevant any more but that I'm afraid to trash goes into it. Out of sight, out of mind.
3. Get a new bag
4. Earn credits on TpT by leaving feedback
Say what?! Did you know you can earn credits toward future purchases on Teachers Pay Teachers just by leaving feedback for previous purchases? Yep. You heard me.
Head on over to TpT and click on "My Purchases" under your menu.
Leave feedback for your purchases by clicking on the "Provide Feedback" link under any product you have purchased.
Rack up your credits toward future purchases!
5. Write down a professional goal
Every year, I get bogged down in all the things. Even the best SLP has room to improve, and if you're like me, you'd like to be better organized, better at fluency therapy, better at keeping data, better at writing reports, better at .... everything. PICK. ONE. THING. Make one area your true focus for improvement for the year and write it down. When you feel overwhelmed, come back to this goal and prioritize tasks that get you closer to this goal. The rest can wait. This past year, mine was to communicate and collaborate with teachers more.
6. Write down a personal goal
The beginning of the school year brings plenty of challenges at work, but let's not forget the new challenges we'll face at home. Whether you have children or not, a new school year means a new schedule and for most of us, less time for...well, life. Pick an area of your personal life you'd like to focus on, make a goal, and write it down.
Me? Last year, my goal was to cook meals at least 3 times a week. We used meal delivery options (Sunbasket - because of the meal variety, and Hello Fresh - because of the 3-person option, are our favorites) to help meet this goal, because that's what worked for our family. This year, my goal is to be more active and to make fitness a priority. To make it measurable, I'll probably set a step goal.
7. Prep all the things
At least this one can be done while summer binge-watching TV. Remember last school year when you bought that awesome product from TpT? And remember how you haven't really used it because you never had a chance to prep the whole thing?
I actually find prepping materials sort of relaxing when I'm not in a rush to do it right before a group walks through the door. I spend 15 minutes during the day printing off a whole load of materials, then at night I can laminate and cut in front of the TV.
8. Create a progress monitoring plan
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Let me start with how Kiwi Speech got its name. I currently live in Pittsburgh, but it took living in a few different states and countries to get here. One of which (and the one that is truly "home"), was New Zealand. When I was first starting my business, I wanted a name that represented who I was, but was also catchy and kid-friendly. A person from New Zealand is colloquially referred to as a "kiwi", hence, Kiwi Speech was born.
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