Unprepared…OUCH! Have you ever felt unprepared?
Whether it was the morning when you show up to work, or 5 minutes before your next group enters? Do you know this feeling? I try to not let it happen often, but there are times when I cannot control it! If you have experienced this feeling…keep reading, you will be able to relate! Are you curious to know how I handled this?! I just hate feeling unprepared!!!
I like to categorize myself as an overachiever. I don’t like people to wait for my paperwork to be completed, I don’t like to feel rushed, and I always want my administrators to walk by my room and be pleased with what they see. But even as an overachiever, I have had uncontrollable circumstances:
-My toddler woke me up in the middle of the night and I am not fully awake in the morning. I ran to work right at “sign in” time.
-I spent my entire prep period writing evaluation reports and now I am not ready for the next group.
-I didn’t plan for a session because I thought I was having an annual review meeting. But at the last minute, the meeting was cancelled. Now I have to find an activity for that group.
-I had an activity planned, but once the session begins, I realize I am not inspired or liking the idea.
Can you relate to any of these scenarios? I hate to admit, they have happened! I hope I am not alone! I just hate the feeling of being unprepared, no matter what the cause. So, you are probably wondering, what do I do?!
- I like to keep my therapy room stocked with ready to go games/activities that I can easily grab and go at a moment’s notice. Such games like Stare, Rory’s Story Cubes, Shelby’s Snack Shack, and Bop It. I can easily take them out and we can play in an educational way!
- I try not to be hard on myself. Yes, this one can be difficult at times. Like I said, I am an overachiever. I don’t like to “wing” it. I want to plan the most engaging lessons so my students can make great progress towards their IEP goals. But, I am human! Is it just me, but I find many SLPs are Type A personalities!
- IPads/computer. You can do so much if you have access to technology. If you have iPad apps ready to go, you can easily let students practice their skills using any one of the speech therapy apps. There are also several FREE apps you can use that can be used to target any speech goal: Doodle Buddy, Chatterpix, PicCollage, YouTube and MORE!
- Keep the students engaged. I try to not let them realize that I am not prepared. I hide it as best as I can! I may let them have “students choice” so they feel like they are in control, but I know that it is because I am not prepared or thrilled with what I had prepared.
So, those are my top ways I try and handle myself when I feel like I am unprepared, uninspired, or just not ready for my students. I try to not let this happen often, but having a good pool of resources ready to go at my fingertips really helps!! Yes, I gathered all of these activities over time. It was a bit harder when I first started, but there are so many more available resources now! I wish I had these resources when I first started!! That is why I do what I do, to help others that are in this situation, to give them a quick idea to help them when they are unprepared or uninspired.
So, remember. I have been there. I am here for you. Let me help you stay inspired and prepared. We are in this together. We are all working hard to make a difference in our students. Being an SLP in the school can be lonely. Let’s work together!
I have asked you on Instagram how you felt and to comment! See what has been said:
Do you want to read another “raw truth” post? Check out this one all about what I'd do if only I had more time!