2014--- I have to be honest and say that this year has me off to a bit of a rocky start. The big presentation, new students, exiting students, re-evaluations, last minute initial evaluations (thanks SST!), etc....the list of stressful stuff could go on forever. I've had to make some of the toughest decisions of my fledgling career this month. It really makes me wonder how other SLPs find relief.....for me it's the little things.
1) Consulting with our fabulous EC facilitator (I'm so lucky to have worked with two incredible facilitators in my time with the district. They are so knowledgeable and encouraging.) as well as our wonderful Lead SLP. It helps so much to have them to talk to when I get overtaken by my overly conscientious personality. When I grow up, I really want to be mixture of all three. They truly are my professional role models.
2) Quality time with my pets. They can soothe the worried soul.
3) Freshly sharpened colored pencils.
4) Teddy Talker- I swear this product is a lifesaver. I feel more cheerful when I pull him out of his bag and look at his happy little face. The mouth pieces and tongue puppet are my best friends. I can just pull those out of the bag with my mirror and see so much more success with my articulation groups. Lately, I've even been using the tongue puppet in combination with "weights" (paper towel rolls) to tackle the ever challenging /r/. I have my students show me what their tongue should be doing with the puppet before we practice. I use the tongue puppet as a reminder for placement while they "lift" their "weights." All I really need now is a picture of the letter R as a muscle man.
I just received the Alphabet chart last week (during our teacher workdays). I am in love with this chart and will be taking it with me everywhere. It is so much better than the linking chart that is currently used in my school. The size perfect for traveling when carrying the whole kit is not as convenient. (Granted, I mostly have that issue when I have to tote around a bunch of manipulatives.)
5) Buying Halloween books. I don't know why but I love goofy Halloween books. I picked up the Halloween Motel at Goodwill yesterday. My mom got to listen to all of my wonderful Halloween voices as I read through the story at home. There's nothing like a good werewolf howl to release the frustrations.
6) Empty paper towel rolls. Oh, the possibilities......
7) Thinking about my hope chest. It's completely unrelated to speech, but I get excited when I think about someday decorating a house with my Goodwill treasures & handmade quilts.