From an organizational perspective I have done some things differently and they most assuredly were effective.
- I often get overwhelmed and forget where I am supposed to be. Yes, I am the person you see walking down the hall and then doing a 180 and going the other way. My new support system was my paper calendar (in my binder) and Google calendar. When I received a meeting notification I first wrote it on my monthly calendar then I entered it into google calendar. I put a check on the notification indicating I had posted it. At the end of each week I looked at my monthly calendar and entered any upcoming meetings for the week on my weekly to-do page in my binder. Google calendar helped by sending me 30-minute and 10-minute reminders. I did not miss or arrive late for ONE meeting this year! ALLELUIA!
- Last summer I created organizers (that have kept me on task and on time). In fact, I was often Speech Therapy Organizing Planner, had them all bound, and was good to go. I don't know why I didn't do this 30 years ago. Oh yes, I do...no computers! I was able to keep track of goals, lesson plans, IEPs, evaluations, screenings, copying, field trips, purchases, professional development, and so much more in two books. I did separate my planning from my paperwork in two books. I think one book would have been too massive!
- All my therapy plans for the upcoming week were completed the week before. Materials were prepped and ready to go the week before. There were no early morning scrambles! This had been my practice forever, but somehow after having my own children, it fell to the wayside. I have reclaimed my sanity by being ready to go the week before.
- When I received notification for an IEP or evaluation I went to work immediately. Progress monitoring was completed and goals written 2-3 weeks ahead of the meeting date. Testing was begun as soon as possible and was done in the order of meeting date. There were times I would start the process of goal writing only to realize I had already completed them! It's true!!
- Exercise; the activity I hate to love or love to hate depending on my mood. Research supports that consistent exercise is as beneficial as medication for many people. It is! Twice a week several teachers and I exercise together after school for an hour. A wonderful fitness instructor comes to our building and for a little while we enter the "vault" where we sweat and vent! On the other days I either run or go to Jazzercise. Perfect therapy!
- Apparently I do quite a bit of self-talk. Frequently this year I would talk to my SLPA and she wouldn't respond. One day, I called over to her and asked, "Are you there?" She replied, "Are you talking to me? I never know, you have conversations with yourself all the time!" I hadn't realized it, but it's true, I process aloud. I question, I whine, I problem solve, I debate and it keeps me centered and focused. I know, it's weird.
- I have had an amazing sounding board for about a year and a half. This person helps me take a good hard look at myself and process my thoughts. She has helped me recognize that the behavior of others has absolutely nothing to do with me and everything to do with them. One of my mantras this year has been, "Don't personalize!" I have learned to yield, to say, "You're probably right," or "Thanks for the feedback," and then let go. AHHHHHHH!
- At the beginning of this school year I brainstormed goals for the year. One of these included leaving at a reasonable hour. I am happy to say, I stuck to my plan. I arrived at school between 7:15 and 7:30 and stayed no later than 4:00.
- Prayer. Communication with the God of the Universe.