Are you like me? You want to be organized and start the next school year off with a BANG but still, want to enjoy your summer break? I use to scramble at the end of the year to do it all and my end result was being sick of a good portion of the summer. Instead of trying to run around in circles getting it ready at the beginning of the school year, I break it up into manageable pieces so that I can sneak in some summertime fun. Here is how I handle being a Low Key Type A SLP now!
YEAR-ROUND, SEASONAL, and HOLIDAY RESOURCES ARE PRIORITY #1
In June, I focus on printing, laminating (or stick in sheet protectors), and storing all the materials that I will need that can be used year-round. I start by preparing these resources because they do not have a ‘time limit’ on when they can be used. They are my ‘GO-TO’ resources. I take this time to also print, laminate, and store all of my seasonal and holiday resources too. Sure, I could leave it with the year-round resources but we all know that the kids enjoy having seasonal and holiday resources to add to the mix. Personally, I enjoy having them too since it reminds me that holidays are coming up and/or the end of another school year is around the corner. Make sure that you organize it in an easy to grab manner. For me, that typically means bins (when I have props too), scrapbook containers, and file folders.
START THE YEAR ORGANIZED
In August, I print out and prep all organizational paperwork that I will need for the year. This includes my SLP Planner, Beginning of the Year Forms, and any CFY/SLPA Supervision Forms that I will need for the upcoming school year!
VISUALS HELP WITH BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT (and make me smile!)
I prepare these at the same time as my other organizational resources because I consider classroom decorations, behavior management tools, and visual schedules as a side category of organizational resources. Now, I know what you are thinking… who knows how many kids on your caseload will need a visual schedule or maybe you are not sure how many kids will be on your caseload to create the behavior management tools. My ‘go-to’ is to start the year off with no less than three visual schedules all ready to go! If you don’t need them that is fine because at least they are done and ready for when/if you do need them. The same goes for token boards (no less than 3-5 different styles). If you are making sticker charts, I try to start off with the same number of students that I had on my caseload from the year before. If you are a brand new SLP and this will be your first year, I would suggest 40-50 of the paper sticker charts printed and ready.
DO SOME BARGAIN SHOPPING FOR THERAPY GOODIES
Now the fun begins! I love shopping for deals! I do this all summer long (year-long truthfully but summer tends to bring extra motivation and inspiration)! I take my daughter with me and we go to the huge flea market, thrift stores, target dollar aisle, dollar stores, garage sales, and yard sales near our home. I have also scanned craigslist and our neighborhood sales page on facebook.
SEEK OUT FUN, FRESH IDEAS on PINTEREST, PODCASTS, and from your FAVORITE SLP BLOGGERS
There are some amazing resources on Pinterest from TPT SLP sellers. However, there are also a lot of great ideas that will spark can spark your imagination on ways you can tweak something to fit your needs. For example, you can find a lot of cute paper plate crafts, playdough recipes, and science experiments that you can turn into speech and language lessons for the following school year!
There are also some terrific SLP Podcasts and SLP Bloggers to check out. I created a “cheat sheet” for the ideas I shared above and links to 10 FREEBIES (including my SLP Planner, Speech and Language Stations Starter Set, and Beginning of the Year Forms) and links to huge lists of podcasts and blogs.
You may have noticed that I didn’t mention what I do during July. Well, I try to keep July my ‘FAMILY FUN’ month where I spend as much time possible enjoying time with family and friends and having adventures. However, anything I did not complete in June also carries over into July. I bargain shop and check out blog posts and Pinterest for new ideas all summer long!
Did you take the quiz to see if what type of Summer SLP you are? Take THE QUIZ here!
Want some additional ideas for summer? Check out these blogs:
The Intense Type A SLP: Summer CEU Opportunities by Speech is Beautiful
The Intense Type B SLP: Summer Reads by Speech is Sweet
Summer Activities for the Low Key Type B SLP by Speech Therapy Fun
You can grab a copy of my Summer Preparation List for the Low-Key Type A Speech Language Pathologist Cheat Sheet with all of the freebies below.