Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Frenzied SLPs: Surviving the First Week

D-Day is quickly approaching! August 26, 2015 is the day the teachers in our SAU (school administrative unit) return for our staff breakfast and in-service. Summer vacation has flown by, but it has been wonderful. I have spent blissful days leisurely drinking coffee on my porch, puttering in my garden, reading, and generally relaxing. I love these lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer and wish they would never end, but end they do and back to work I must go.

My first few weeks are chaotic. It seems my brain completely shuts off in June and when I return to school I feel like I've never worked as an SLP before!
Here is part of my week one to-do list:
  1. Unpack and inventory materials purchased through speech budget and delivered over the summer.
  2. Collect teacher schedules.
  3. Update caseload database with frequency of services, grade, teacher, reeval date, IEP date, etc.
  4. Update student lists to include any Special Education student who moved to the district during the summer.
  5. Determine, with my new SLPA, how to divvy up the caseload.
  6. Begin scheduling being sure to include preparation periods as per contract. Ideally this is done in concert with the OT and PT.
  7. Screen K-5 students new to our school.
  8. Check database for IEPs and evals that need to be done A.S.A.P.
  9. Send note to teachers asking if they have articulation concerns about any students in their class  (I just want to be sure no one has slipped through the cracks).
  10. Create a new homework tracker template.
  11. Plan a generic, no-prep first week of therapy.
  12. Find an ice cold corona and a tart lime!
Unfortunately, I also need to be prepared to revise my schedule again and again and again as the glitches in teacher and student schedules arise. In years past the first week of school has been difficult, but I was a different person and I'm praying for a smooth uneventful start. I can do this...again and so can YOU!


  1. Need to learn more about number 10 and will surely have number 12 ready for your early! Love the list!!

    1. Let's just skip to number 12, shall we?!

  2. I totally get the need to revise, revise and revise again. My fall schedule is totally in pencil. Thanks so much for the great tips and ideas. Have a wonderful school year with your lucky speech and language students!

    1. Are our schedules ever really pen worthy? I think SLPs are the most flexible folks around!

  3. Great list - and will you be my supervisor? What a lucky SLPA!
    All Y’all Need

  4. #12 does sound pretty amazing. Love the idea of emailing teachers the first week r.e. artic concerns so much better than finding out in the middle of the year.

    1. Yeah, our teachers haven't developed a pretty good ear! It helps minimize the running around!

  5. Rest up...it'll be here before you know it! By the time you go back, we'll have been in school for 3 1/2 weeks and will only have 5 1/2 more weeks until Fall Break! :)

  6. Mmmmm #12 is my favorite and I'm drooooooling over #5! An assistant!! Awesome!! Enjoy the summer days you have left, Annie!