One Reason This SLP Loves Her Job

One Reason This SLP Loves Her Job

 Speech Therapy Love
We speech language pathologists (SLPs) work really hard. We put in long hours, manage billing, write evaluations and keep up with our continuing education. That’s reality.
What keeps us coming back for more every day? For most of us it’s a love story. The ability to help children communicate is a huge gift. From correcting a list to expanding vocabulary to fostering communicative intent, it’s all golden.
I love that I get hugs and high fives everyday. Kids are so real and authentic. I love hearing a previously nonverbal boy say “my turn” in context for the first time.  I love hearing a student say “Hi Miss Anne” when he used to say “Hi Mits Aaa”. I love hearing a parent say “Thank you for helping my child.” Most of all, I love the feeling that the work that I do really matters.
I recently wrote about this on the collaborative blog Speech Spotlight, click here to read more about what my friends love most about being an SLP….Speech Therapy Love: 10 Reasons SLPs Love Their Job.
 Tell me in the comments below why you love your job!
Make time for what you truly want,
Anne Page Speech Language Pathologist
SLP Like a Boss with Kim Lewis from Activity Tailor

SLP Like a Boss with Kim Lewis from Activity Tailor

 SLP Like A Boss
How do you SLP like a boss?  Someone who SLPs like a boss, is professional, compassionate, organized and inspirational. An SLP boss gets things done!
In this series I’m interviewing SLP boss women who work by day as speech language pathologists, but at night (and on weekends),  they are business builders.  I’m talking about running websites, writing blogs and creating therapy materials for their fellow SLPs and teachers. They not only serve as advocates for their clients (students); they are advocates for our profession. These are the strong, amazing women that I admire and who inspire. 
I am thrilled to kick off this series with the amazing Kim Lewis from the award winning blog Activity Tailor. Just two short years ago, Kim was my introduction into the magical world of blogging and Teachers Pay Teachers.  Her products are innovating, creative and kids love them.  Kim consistently writes articles and posts that are thought-provoking, helpful and supportive of our SLP/teacher community. She inspires me to strive for the utmost professionalism, to write creatively and to be generous. So let’s dive right in to my interview.
Tell me about yourself in seven words: “Creative, passionate, determined, hard-working, big picture.”
Where did you go to grad school?: University of Virginia
What are your top three SLP must haves (other than your own amazing materials)?: “I use miniatures, little plastic animals and common objects all the time.  Play-mobile Advent calendars and the bins at Party City are two of my resources. I use them with a big tupper-ware container full of magic sand. I do use the iPad a lot for articulation drill and for motivation.  But I try to limit the screen time and not just use the iPad during the session.” Here are Kim’s most used TPT materials: Listening Skills Resource Pack by Crazy Speech World, Therapy Popcorn R Articulation by Speech Therapy 101, Articulation for Reading and Conversation by Nicole Allison, Articulation Menus by Speech Musings, and Fluency Treatment Pack by Lauren LaCour.
What do you love most about what you do?“The kids that I see are all mildly to moderately impaired.  I like tweaking what I’m doing with each child to fit their needs and interests. These are kids that really need to know how to advocate for themselves.”
Tell me your advice for the newly minted SLP: “Keep learning. Read.  Attend a lot of CEUs. Keep asking questions.”
Tell me about your blog: “I get a lot of pleasure and relaxation in writing.  I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of writing for the ASHA Leader.  This is a fun, creative outlet…it’s a mix of musings and easy to implement activities.”
Tell me about your TPT store: “I focus on products that I need and use regularly.  There’s not a lot of cutesy stuff, the kids I work with don’t want items they think are “babyish”.  I try to avoid a lot of visual distractions because of my kids with attention difficulties.  I like visually clean materials.”
What SLP-boss inspires you?: “Amy at 3DSLP. She is so passionate about what she’s doing.  Her subscription boxes have great attention to detail. She’s a true entrepreneur. And what she’s doing is so different from what I do.  She works with voice and even does endoscopies.”
What is your favorite children’s book?:“I can’t pick just one. I like a lot of the young adult books. Secret Garden. Charlotte’s Web; I read that till there were practically no pages left. Mandy is a book by Julie Edwards, who is THE Julie Andrews.  I was trying to remember the book to recommend to my daughter and I loved it when she discovered it on her own.”
What about picture books? “Chrysanthemum and Lily’s Plastic Purse are some of my favorites.”
Inspirational right? Thank you so much to Kim for taking to time to chat with me and continuing to inspire me. I’m am looking forward to when our paths cross again.
Who inspires YOU to be your best?  Leave a note below in the comments, I’d love to know.
 SLP like a boss,
Anne Page Speech Language Pathologist
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SLP Time Hacks: Work Life Work Balance 7 Top Strategies

SLP Time Hacks: Work Life Work Balance 7 Top Strategies

SLP Time Hacks Work Life Work Balance
I know a lot of SLP’s that work at their day job, have families and have second jobs as SLP bloggers/TPT sellers. How do we manage big caseloads and endless reports at work and take care of our families and find time to write a blog and create therapy materials? Can I just say I probably have more questions than answers? 
It can be quite a balancing act with no perfect right answers. These are questions each SLP  just has to answer for herself.
What I can do is provide some ideas and battle plans that have worked for others. I can get pretty scattered here so I had to choose my top seven. 
1. Be crystal clear on your priorities.
For me my spiritual foundation comes first, that has to be in place and nurtured for me to be able to give to others. Next is my family, spending time with them and letting them know they are loved is everything to me. The rest is a little harder to separate. Health and fitness. Work. Adventure. Friends. More work. Following my dream. It’s kind of like the Stephen Covey rocks in a jar example: spirituality and family love are the rocks and the rest is the sand.
2. Perfection is the enemy.
I really battle with perfectionism. I consciously and daily ask myself  “Does it need to be perfect or does it need to be done?” Don’t give me wrong, I have high standards, I just choose my battles. My bed probably doesn’t need to be made perfectly every time, so it’s okay if my husband makes it (haha).
3. Schedule everything
Make your list and then write the items down in your calendar. That is how they get done. There is  some kind of magic in taking this action. Schedule little chunks of uninterrupted time to write blog articles and create TPT products. If you’re like me, this time is hard to come by. Guard it from the time-wasters.
4. Ask for support.
Don’t try to do it all yourself. If you’re working really hard on a deadline, ask your husband to make dinner or get takeout. Hire a housekeeper. I did that last year and it has been one of the nicest things I have ever done for myself. If you are stumped with a problem at work, reach out to your SLP colleagues. There are some really supportive Facebook groups link here and SLP Instagram community is very supportive as well. Click here to read my post about Facebook groups.
5. Think outside the box.
Do you always do laundry, groceries and errands on the weekend? What about throwing in one load on Tuesday night when you have an hour to blog? Try online order and delivery. I used Prime Now for the first time this weekend and saved myself three trips and probably an hour of time for a seven dollar delivery fee.
6. Use social media-don’t let it use you.
Cut back on social media time.  Noooooooooo! We SLP’s are social creatures, it’s so easy to just pop over to Facebook to check if someone replied to our post or to see what’s new on a group board. I started limiting my social media time to certain times of day and I give myself a time limit. As a result I feel less scattered and I can concentrate on what I’m doing. I love connecting but now I do it on my own time (turn off notifications, you can do it!)
7. Take care of yourself!
If you don’t do it no one else will. Save some time just for you. I know this is probably the hardest one but it’s the most important. You have to fill the well. Write it down, negotiate it with your people, beg borrow or steal it, but do it. Give yourself that time to dream, reflect and just be.
These are my tips gleaned from wise friends, life experience and countless books. Take what resonates for you and leave the rest behind.
And from the bottom of my heart kudos to all of you for having the desire and determination to push through boundaries and follow your dreams..
You make the world a much brighter place,
Anne Page Speech Language Pathologist
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SLP Time Hacks: Time Saving Tips from Ten School SLP’s

SLP Time Hacks: Time Saving Tips from Ten School SLP’s

SLP Time Hacks
Life as an SLP is all about time, it’s one precious commodity! I’m always looking for ways to streamline my schedule so this week I asked some of my smart SLP friends for their expert advice. Here’s what they said:
Mia Reed McDaniel
Hmmmmm Time is my enemy. I’m always struggling to stay on schedule and use my time wisely. The biggest time eater for me is people stopping by my room to visit. As much as I love my co-workers, I had to resort to putting up a “Do Not Disturb – testing” sign from time to time just so I can make the best use of my time. Also, I keep TWO to-do lists, “To-Do NOW” and “To-Do LATER” which helps me prioritize and focus on what I need to do FIRST. Putting Words in Your Mouth
Looks Like Language
I am always late in therapy- too involved- but not in real life! What saves me is organization! Life tip- get lunch ready and clothes out the night before. Work tip- use page protectors to keep similar worksheet originals in one spot and store the page protector sheets in a binder labeled with the skill. Looks Like Language 
Felice Clark
I have my speech schedule tucked in the front of my data/therapy binder. For a while, I used to use a  timer to help me know when that last 5 minutes hit, so I could wrap up therapy. If we didn’t finish our lesson, then I would collect all the papers, crafts, etc. and store in my file folder for next session. The Dabbling Speechie
Susan Berkowitz
Prepare in advance. When I was in the schools I was in 5 different schools each week, which meant multiple schools each day and never enough drive and park time in-between (especially in the snow). I always tried to prep in advance (on a weekend) so that I had everything I needed for each group, all organized and together by group and stowed in the back of my van and ready to grab and run. My van was my office, so I had to keep it organized or life was a mess. I color coded the groups and could quickly see and grab. I also always kept a pile of good language games in the van, too, so that in a pinch I could always grab a game quickly if I needed to. But, like everyone who runs between schools I always was late and running – never enough time in the schedule.Kidz Learn Language
Lisette Edgar
My biggest plus for getting to work on time is that I live 1/2 mile from school! Other than that, prepping the night before helps. I have a small fridge in my room, and I bring meals/ sides for the week an store in there, so I am not fixing my lunch each morning. I usually eat a yogurt for breakfast first thing at work while I am checking e-mails…. Multi- tasking! Speech Sprouts
Sarah Wu
I have a couple: on Sunday night check your work email. It’s a pain but that way you can come to work in Monday and know you have “inbox zero.” My administration likes to send emails on Sunday and I don’t like coming in on Monday knowing there are emails I need to get through. Also, buying a black fleece jacket with the school district’s logo on it has been a lifesaver. There’s a “company store” on the school district’s website. I leave the fleece at work and I can throw it on if I encounter variable temperatures throughout the building and still look professional. I also leave a plain pair of black leather shoes at work under my desk during the winter so that when I wear my boots to work, I can quickly change out of boots and I don’t have to lug nice shoes along with everything else I carry to work! Phew! Speech is Beautiful
Kim Lewis
I can second a lot of what has already been said. I prep my lunch the night before (and as much of breakfast as I can–coffee is always set so it’s ready when I arrive in the kitchen) and my clothes. I almost always prep all of my sessions for the week on the weekend. I also use Dropbox frequently. This means if I have a few moments (if a session is cancelled, for example), I can work on progress notes or a blog post or something more productive than checking social media! I run late all the time. I will set the timer on my phone to make sure I wrap things up in time. My students and I have to walk back and forth to my “house” for speech–great on nice weather days, a huge pain when it’s raining–but I often underestimate how much time little legs need for travelling. I’m always saying, “let’s use fast feet” 😉 Activity Tailor
Tracy Willock Morgan
I have been concentrating on finishing what I start. It is very easy to get into the pattern of starting, stopping, re-starting, etc. Having to re-start something multiple times is a total time thief. Please don’t hate me, but I am one of “those” who is always on time. IDK-I think I’m just wired that way. Gold Country SLP
Jennifer Bradley
I pre make lunches and pack my materials/files bag the night before. To get my husband to stay on time, I set his clock ahead by 10 minutes (he still doesn’t know!)
Such great ideas! I would have to say my biggest timesaver at work is Evernote. I have it on my laptop at home and at school and it is synced to my iPhone and my iPad. It’s my giant digital file cabinet. I keep present levels and evaluation reports in a “notebook”. Evernote  is organized by notebooks and notes. For getting to work, I have lunches ready (I’d say in 4 out of 5 opportunities as measured by therapist data…haha) and I have my outfits for the week lined up in the closet. 
My biggest tip is to find a little bit of time just for you everyday, even if it’s in the small hours of the morning before everyone else is awake. I try to stick to that because it really keeps me grounded and positive.
I hope you can use some of these tips to make your days run more smoothly. I know I will. Be sure to click on the blog names to be taken straight to more SLP blogger tips and insight. Such a great community!
Anne Page Speech Language Pathologist
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SLP Time Hacks to Make Your Day Easier: Let’s Do Lunch

SLP Time Hacks to Make Your Day Easier: Let’s Do Lunch

SLP Time Hacks Let's Do LunchThis month I am focusing on time, how to become friends with it, how to enjoy it and how to use it to keep my life on track with my dreams.

As a school SLP (I’m sure all you teachers relate too),  I feel like I’m always juggling and bartering with the universe for more time in  pretty much all areas. Time to work out, time to eat healthy, time for paperwork, time for therapy, time for planning, time for family, time for friends and oh yeah some time for me.
Today, I’m thinking about food…specifically lunch.  January is when we all decide to get back on track with our eating. Healthy eating takes commitment and time. Time to plan, purchase, prep, cook and eat. It’s so easy and cheap to be unhealthy, just go to McDonald’s. (I’m sorry but yuck.)
Working in the schools, we don’t have time to go out for lunch. Most of us use our 30 minutes to scarf something down while we write a report or catch up on Facebook.
This year I’m trying to be more mindful of my food consumption. To put healthy food in my body and to enjoy, even savor  eating it. I know that’s a tall order. I’m not an expert on the subject by any means but here are some weekly habits that help me stay energized and healthy.
1. Cook enough protein the night before to have a serving with your lunch. I don’t like leftovers, don’t even like the word. But I do like cooking an extra chicken breast that I can slice and put on a yummy salad. 
2. Meal prep on the weekend. Set aside a couple of hours on Saturday or Sunday to chop vegetables, cook meat, bake sweet potatoes, make soup, make egg bites, or salad in mason jars. If you’re feeling very Pinterest check out my Pinterest Board: Healthy School Lunches for Me.
3. Buy pre-made salads at the grocery store. Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, Whole foods and even Safeway all have great little individual salads. Sometimes I buy the salad kits and leave one in the fridge at work, they last me for three days and I’ll just add protein.
4. Keep an emergency stash of protein bars. It’s really important to get enough protein to balance with your carbs and avoid the blood-sugar-dropping mid-afternoon slump. At least then on those rush days you can grab an apple and have your chocolate chip cookie dough quest bar, (my personal favorite).
5. Keep a healthy snack drawer. I am a snacker,  I need one mid morning and mid afternoon snack every day. Mine includes quest bars, kind bars, almonds, trail mix, Almond butter packets, chocolate hazelnut packets,(to die for),Mary’s crackers, rice crackers, and good dark chocolate. (Always a must.)
6. Mix it up. Try not to get in a food rut and eat the same thing every day. I avoid bread but every once in a while I bring a sandwich made from Ezekial bread or a wrap. That way I don’t get bored and decide I need to eat something from the cafeteria.
7. Take a few uninterrupted minutes to enjoy your food. Did you know you can be eating the most nutritious food in the world but if you are not enjoying it your body may not metabolize it to the fullest?
8. Eat with someone you like, even if that is yourself. Eating with negative people can’t be good for you and it’s certainly an energy drain when you’re busy trying to replenish.
9. Get up and move! Walk around the school, stretch, get some fresh air. Our job requires a lot of desk work, take a few minutes at lunch to breathe and get some movement. You’ll be glad you did.
10. Water. Period. Make sure you hydrate. So important. Lack of water is the number one trigger of daytime fatigue. A 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math and difficulty focusing on the computer screen. Can’t have that while we’re doing our Medicaid billing now can we?
I hope you can use some of these ideas to help your weekdays go more smoothly. By planning ahead and preparing yourself a yummy lunch, you’ll have something to look forward to and give yourself enough energy to make it through the day.
And maybe even have some time for yourself at the end of the day.
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Anne Page Speech Language Pathologist
SLP Social Media Series: We Rise By Lifting Others

SLP Social Media Series: We Rise By Lifting Others

I remember my first few years as a school speech language pathologist (SLP). I had a lot of questions and doubts. Wishing I had a wise counsel to turn to, I just kept solitarily moving forward. I checked the literature and research but sometimes it was just too formal. I wanted a connection.
This was before the social media search. Now we have blogs, YouTube, Pinterest, Google, Facebook, Instagram and more. So much information and knowledge at our fingertips.
The new challenge is in sifting through it; finding resources that speak to me and that are in line with my way of thinking as I build my practice and my skills as an SLP.
This summer, I had the great fortune to attend the teachers pay teachers sellers conference in Las Vegas. Our Facebook group of SLP’s on TPT made arrangements to meet up and tentative digital connections became warm personal connections.
We exchanged stories and ideas; shared links and tips. We realized that working together not only makes us better creators of therapy materials, it makes us better SLP’s.
This is how the blog came to be. Nine of us jumped on board when Sarah Wu (Speech is Beautiful) said “why don’t we start a collaborative blog?”
Up and running since July this year; we share articles, tips, and therapy materials.Now, I have my wise counsel and I’d love to share it with you. Go visit Speech Spotlight. Follow us on Facebook for daily updates. New blog posts are every Monday. You don’t have to do it alone, now you have us.
Come back next week to learn more about SLP social media sites to add to your SLP digital tribe. Join my email list (at the top of the page) to receive new blog posts right away (and get a great FREEBIE).
Have fun connecting,
Anne Page Speech Language Pathologist

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