Are you an SLP that gets in a rut of saying “good job” or one that is constantly listening for the right answer so that you can put a + rather than a – down on your data sheet? I know that I am definitely guilty of this. I was inspired by a post I read regarding ways parents can praise their children that don’t have to do with achievement. This article definitely struck home with me.
As SLPs, we are data driven creatures that often forget to look at the achievements our students are making that are beyond the +/- or percentages. It warms my heart to see my students encouraging each other or performing acts of the kindness from the bottom of their hearts. These moments need to be celebrated just as much as meeting their IEP goals in my eyes. Our students deserve to have their spirits lifted and praised for the things they do. Don’t we want to praise our students for helping their speech partner, holding a door open for someone passing by, comforting a speech partner who lost at a game, or attempting to try a problem that is difficult for them? Life isn’t all about what can be achieved on a piece of paper or a data sheet. These accomplishments are often more meaningful than being able to say they were able to complete x skill ___% of the time.
I found that when I began to praise my students for their acts of kindness, courage, compassion, and integrity their began to trust me more. Their faces would light up when they realized that I was watching and caring about their actions.
Here are 5 things you can compliment your students on that may not have anything to do with their IEP goals:
1. Not just trying but never giving up. When they keep trying again and again.
2. When they have the courage to ask for help in a tough situation.
3. When they offer comfort to anyone– whether that be a speech friend who lost at a game, a friend who got hurt, etc.
4. When they show compassion and put others first
5. When they accept rejection with grace and dignity
We have to remember that sometimes we are the only people these students have in their corner. Sometimes all they need is one adult to show that they believe in them.
You may or may not have noticed my absence from the blogging/social media world for the past couple of months. At first I didn’t mean to take a hiatus from the blogging and social media world but then I decided that I needed to conscientiously step back from this world in order to take time for myself.
As you may or may not have known, a year ago I walked down the aisle and got to marry my best friend. I decided to take this past year to deepen and strengthen our relationship as husband and wife as we started our first year of marriage. Now many people may think that you don’t need to take time off to be able to do this but I wanted to be able to give my whole self when spending time together. I didn’t want to live behind the screen of a computer or behind the lens of a camera making sure I got the perfect picture for social media. I wanted to be able to fully commit to my husband and build a stronger relationship together when we were together. This past year was a crazy busy year at work and the last thing I wanted to be doing was spending the extra time I did have hiding behind a computer screen.
Don’t get me wrong, I love this SLP community and loving sharing/gaining ideas from all these amazing people but the one thing I think we often forget is that we need to take time for ourselves and there is no reason to be ashamed about that. It is so easy to get so wrapped up in social media that we forget to live the life in front of us. Now this just doesn’t apply if you have gone through or are going through a significant life event. It is important to take time for yourself regardless!
My advice to new SLPs or those that have just graduated is to always remember to take time for yourself. Don’t lose yourself in your work because you’ll begin to resent the reason why you started this journey in the first place. The last thing you want to lose is your passion for why you got started in this field in the first place.
In a field where we spend so much time helping others, we often forget to take time for ourselves to help rejuvenate our minds. It is difficult to help others when you are not your best self. I encourage you to don’t let work consume you, as hard as this is. I know the feeling! There are often times when I want to take work home but I know that work will always be there.
Keep pursuing a long time hobby or start a new one! Doing something you love often, other than work, feeds the mind and the soul allowing yourself to be in the best mental state for work. It is important to take time to nurture your mind and soul whether that be through meditation/yoga, picking up a good book, your favorite sport, or for me crafting. I LOVE crafting and have made an effort to allow myself to feed the creative side of my brain through numerous craft projects this past year.
What is your favorite way to take time for yourself or relax?
Today I’m going to talk about one of my favorite items in my speech room. I love my “Time Timer” and my speech kiddos love it too. We use it to keep track of therapy time. The reason why the Time Timer is special is because it provides a great visual for kids and therapists, and it works for kids who can’t tell time yet.
How does it work? Simple use your fingers and move the red part to your desired time. I ask my own kid at home to do quiet time for 40-50 minutes a day. He goes in his room, we set the timer, and he comes out when the red is all gone! SO SIMPLE, even a 3 year old can use it on his own 🙂
I got mine from Amazon and it makes a beep sound when it gets to 0 so he can see and hear the timer. You can have it on silent or ring. We use this at home every day and I highly recommend it to parents with young kids as well as SLPs working with preschool and school age kids.
This is not a sponsored post. I just wanted to write a product review because I love using the Time Timer.