What are the biggest challenges SLPs face in schools...

Aug 21, 2016 by

About a week ago I asked school SLPs this question on Facebook, “What is the biggest challenge you face working in schools?” I received over 60 responses. With 30 years under my belt, I was pretty sure what the responses would be but I wanted to hear from others. Paperwork was the biggest challenge hands down. I know my paperwork requirements have increased significantly in 30 years. The advent of the computer just increased the amount of paperwork, but helped us to do it faster. That’s just a change in society that we can’t do anything about. Imagine how long it would take us to do all our paperwork tasks by hand these days. However, the time given to me to do paperwork within the school day has shrunk as my caseload numbers have...

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TPT: Love it or hate it?

Aug 13, 2016 by

I came across this blog post written a few years back “I teach Kindergarten and I don’t like Teachers Pay Teachers” by Matt Gomez kindergarten teacher. The comments posted by others have taken off. I wanted to simply comment but I knew my comment would be very verbose so I figured I could turn it into a blog post (and have another reason to mention my material on TPT). Keep in mind that my view of TPT as a Speech Language Pathologist is going to be a little different. Also Mr. Gomez isn’t the only one who doesn’t like to use TPT….lots of similar blog posts out there.  [Just noted a follow up blog post by Mr. Gomez, “Teachers Pay Teachers-the Sequal” again tons of comments.  I wish I had his following!] Reading the...

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SMART Goal Bank for SLPs-Share your SMART goals...

Jul 26, 2016 by

With the new school year on the horizon, I’m going to post once again about SMART goals. As SLPs we almost always have to figure things out on our own. With the development of professional SMART goals we’ve had to be more and more creative. I’ve seen SLPs make the process extremely complicated and SLPs who make the process a lot simpler. Coming up with new and interesting SMART goals that can relate to the SLP is just not that easy. As a group we need to start sharing our ideas. There is no reason for SLPs to be reinventing the wheel. What I would like to propose is creating a smart goal bank specifically for Speech Language Pathologists. I would have two categories one for SLPs who need individual SMART goals and one...

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Are you looking for a smart goal idea?...

Jul 6, 2016 by

Last year our school district asked all the SLPs to put together an inservice for teaching assistants. We all actually used this as an activity as one of our smart goals. I put together a packet which is divided up into two parts, a presenter copy with information to use as a guide and a participant packet that provides both information and an outline (to encourage some note taking and active listening). The information I presented in the hour long inservice included who we are, what we do, our training, who we work with, what we work on, how language difficulities impact learning along with some suggestions on what they can do in the classroom setting. With dollars tight, schools are often looking toward their own resources to share knowledge. I was pretty much...

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I need ideas!

Jul 6, 2016 by

Something about the end of the school year just sucks all my energy and creative juices. After some R & R, I’m ready to get back to work. Now I just need some ideas. Anyone have some interesting and possibly controversial topics for me to tackle? One thing I have been doing during my down time is continuing to market my book, The School Speech Language Pathologist is an Administrator’s Guide to understanding the role of the SLP in schools along with strategies to aid staffing, workload management and student success. Most of my marketing takes place via twitter or Facebook. I sell a few copies here and there. Even in the field of speech language pathology my book is a niche book. I would love to sit at a booth during any conference...

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Thank You: Book Giveaway!

Apr 5, 2016 by

One year ago this month I published my first book The School Speech Language Pathologist, An Administrator’s Guide to understanding the role of the SLP in schools along with strategies to aid staffing, workload management and student success. I don’t have to explain to SLPs why I was compelled to write this book. It evolved first in my head, then as a powerpoint and then as a small book. Tired of feeling overwhelmed and disrespected, I pushed the completion of the book into high gear after winning a self publishing contract through my publisher Booklocker (which I highly recommend as a self publisher). Publishing this book was a milestone in my life. To celebrate that and to thank my many followers, I want to give away 5 copies to active followers of my blog,...

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Scheduling and the SLP

Feb 19, 2016 by

This past week I participated in a chat on Facebook that focused on never leaving an empty space in your school schedule. I’ve know for years that when administrators see even a 15 minute block empty, they seem to think the SLP has a ton of time to spare. Not sure where this mind set comes from but I guarantee the school psychologist is not under the same scrutiny. The fact that SLPs are having a discussion tells me there is something wrong with our situation. Either we are not respected as professionals or administrators really have no idea what we do. I’m going to go with the latter (because I can do something about that). I also know a lot of the squeezing we receive is because of budget. Administrators, especially those higher...

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OOPS! Don’t forget to renew...

Feb 14, 2016 by

Well even with all my articles on the importance of liability insurance and reminderst to my readers to renew their liability insurance……guess what I did? I forgot to renew my policy by Feb 1. For some reason I had the 15th in my head. No problem I was within the grace period so Trust Risk Management renewed my policy without question.  Next time you take the time to check on your CEU status (which is something else I can’t seem to remember without writing it down) check on your liability insurance renewal...

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Bags! Bags! We love bags!

Feb 4, 2016 by

Every so often the topic of “Which bag is best” come up on an SLP Facebook page. No matter what setting you’re in SLP’s need bags. I doubt many of us could not function with out 2-3 or 10 good bags at our disposal. Having a bag that is functional and of course stylish is the main goal of any serious SLP. I personally can’t leave the house without at least 4 bags hanging across my body and both arms. Each morning when I load up the term “Pack Mule” comes to mind.   So what bags do SLPs need? A big bag to shlep our daily materials from place to place. The younger the students the more physical materials we need, the bigger the bag. A bag to keep our files organized. We...

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March 2, 2016 Read Across America Day...

Jan 26, 2016 by

March 2nd is The National Education Association’s Read Across America Day. Read more about it on the NEA website . Does your school do anything special for the Event. My school usually does a little something to rah rah reading. While this is a very important event, don’t forget to encourage your students or your children to read all the time. Reading is a great way to develop language, vocabulary and background knowledge. Lots of cute t-shirts out there to celebrate the day and of course the required Dr. Suess...

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Are accommodations taking the place of specialized instruction?...

Jan 18, 2016 by

Several years back the powers that be came up with RTI or Response to Intervention. Seriously what a semantically flawed title. RTI was interpreted and implemented differently in every school system based on the administration’s perspective. At first I disliked RTI, I felt it was a program that delayed needed services. RTI also suggested that accommodations could be a cure all for students who struggled. Then for a while, I thought RTI was really working and it did for some kids. It was very dependent on the understanding/knowledge of the RTI team and willingness to put effort into the process. Teachers were beginning recognize weaknesses/issues and bring up names of at risk students sooner. However, looking back I think the names were brought up because teachers were more concerned that the student in question would...

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Time to pay the ASHA dues

Dec 11, 2015 by

The timing might not be right but it is time to make sure your ASHA dues is paid for the year. It is also a good time to check the status of your other licenses, update your CEU progress and check on your liability insurance renewal date. If you want to work as a Speech Language Pathologist in the United States you have to have that ASHA certification there is no way around it. This year I decided to join one special group so my total bill was $285. I still find it very interesting that we have to be members in a private group with corporate sponsors but that’s an issue for another day. I had a very hard time signing that check this year knowing the Pearson is a corporate sponsor. I...

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Reading and understanding social context is key to good pragmatic skills...

Nov 27, 2015 by

Today I am publishing a retread article I first wrote for examiner.com back in 2012. I thought about this article after presenting a paraprofessional training last week. The attendees asked if I could give them some specific examples of pragmatic difficulities in more typical students. While I was able to provide examples, my response wasn’t as organized as I would have liked. I think I will be sharing this article (or improving on the article) next time I present to paraprofessional or parents. As always suggestions and comments welcomed. Teresa Reading and understanding social context is key to good pragmatic skills When kids are taught “context” most classroom teachers are usually referring to the context of a story. Students, especially the ones who have non verbal learning disabilities, aspergers or even just lack social...

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Speech Language consultants and school contracts...

Nov 23, 2015 by

One of the most challenging things about promoting a niche book is how to get it into the hands of the people the book is meant for. I’m sure most of my book sales have been to SLPs who hopefully share it with their administrators or at least find it supportive. A couple of weeks ago I received a message on Facebook from a consulting service, mentioning that they purchased a couple of my books. The purpose of their purchase was to give the books to school administrators. The information I provided in the book not only explained the role of the SLP in schools, it helped outline and justify time needed to properly service the schools they contract with. I was blown away and thrilled. I had not even thought of this as...

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Do you have professional liability insurance?...

Nov 2, 2015 by

  With the beginning of the school year it is time to make sure you professional liability policy is up to date. This year I switched my policy to Trust Risk Management Services, who does continues as an active sponsor on this blog. TRMS provides Professional Liability Insurance for Speech Language Pathologists offering comprehensive policies tailored to your specific needs and reasonable rates. You can request an instant quote and learn more about professional liability insurance by going to the TRMS site or clicking the link located in the menu above. I feel very strongly about the need for Speech Language Pathologists to carry personal professional liability insurance. While the schools and agencies I’ve worked for over the years obviously carry liability insurance, I understood that I couldn’t always depend on my employer for enough protection or cover...

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Caseload and Workload article review...

Oct 11, 2015 by

I found what I think is a fairly new article on ASHA focusing on Caseload and Workload. The article makes a fair attempt at explaining workload vs. caseload. There are a few points I would disagree with in the article but for the most part it does a good job of explaining that some students just require more man hours than others based on their disability. This is an article obviously written for school administrators, yet I doubt many administrators have even taken a look. The article is a little muddy in the middle on how to determine a workload analysis. But at least it brings up the topic. I don’t feel a workload analysis has to be that complicated. However, I guess even administrators have to show their data. Caseload and Workload also...

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Scheduling Template

Aug 31, 2015 by

Can anyone use this to work out their draft schedule (I mean schedules)? I know it doesn’t take long to create but we know every minute counts. It is a pages doc. Scheduling template 2015 Here is the PDF Scheduling template 2015...

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7th grade and the SLP

Aug 27, 2015 by

Yesterday I received a question that had to do with transition to 7th grade “I find it difficult to transition students from 6th grade to middle school, meaning targeting appropriate goals/etc. What are the areas you find critical to this age? Do you have a screening tool you give to your students? What are the main areas you look at to gauge success in junior high/middle school?” First lets talk briefly about 7th grade. 7th grade, no matter what middle school model your school has, is a significant bump up in academics, expectations, higher order language (understanding and usage, texts, adult usage, peers……) and higher order thinking. 7th grade is the year the speech and language students dismissed from therapy a couple of years ago will end up back on your radar. The reason...

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The School SLP-book reviews

Aug 10, 2015 by

Last April I introduced my first book The School Speech Language Pathologist, An administrators guide to understanding the role of the SLP in schools along with strategies to aid staffing, workload management and student success. It has been a lot of fun working on book promotion and I’ve received almost 100% positive feedback from other SLPs. Several SLPs have mentioned that they have good enough relationships with the administrators to share the book. Yeah! Two SLP’s reported that their administrators asked to peek at the book (double Yeah!). Two SLP bloggers have been kind enough to highlight my book on their blogs. I want to share their perspectives with you. Both of these blogs are very professional and interesting so take a peek around their sites while you’re there. The first review was written...

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Concerts: Don’t forget your ear plugs...

Aug 2, 2015 by

After taking a little bit of a hiatus from blogging due to vacation it is really hard to get started again. I lugged my computer 3000 miles with the hopes that I would get some writing and book promotion done but that didn’t happen. Since school got out I’ve jotted down several ideas for articles but never quite found the time or passion to develop them. Well, it’s time to get back on track. This past weekend I attended the first concert I’ve been to in over two years. It was some old rockers but it was still loud. Ear protection did not even dawn on me until the break between bands where next to the beer line was the table selling ear plugs. At that point I flashed to the generic package of...

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