Routines in speech? Yes! They are a must!
There have been a BUNCH of blog posts by amazing SLP bloggers about their tips for starting the school year, handing the start of your CFY, scheduling, and more. I thought I would share with you a tip that I have learned over the years that makes a world of a difference in how the rest of my year will unfold…building routines!
Like most SLPs, I start my year by going through IEPs, checking mandates, informing teachers of the students in their classrooms with an IEP/speech services/goals, scheduling (once, twice, one hundred times), observing students in their classrooms (and on the playground too!) and preparing all of my data sheets. But once a schedule is in place, I don't just hop right into therapy!
The first several sessions are so crucial in building rapport and a routine with your speech students. They need to know what is expected of them each and every time. Here are some things I drill the first few moments of the first several sessions:
- Are you picking them up or are they coming to your speech rooms themselves? How should they walk through the hallways?
- What do they need to bring with them (notebook, folder, pencil, pass, and/or classwork)?
- If you hold speech folders in your therapy rooms, where can they find them? When should they expect to get the folders?
- Will they receive a reinforcer/reward? How often?
- What are their goals? Why are they going to speech?!
- What are the rules in the therapy room? Why are they important?
- Are there assigned seats?
- It is OK to make a mistake, we are here to learn!
- What are the rules for using the iPad? Computer? Smartboard?
- What are the rules for using the bathroom? Water fountain? Need the nurse?
- How will they know that speech is canceled?