Tuesday, November 24, 2015

5 Things You Didn't Know About This SLP

I'm linking up with Jessica at The Speech Space. We're listing 5 things you may not have known about us. Sounds like fun, doesn't it?
Let's see how many things you already knew about me:
1. I'm a lefty.
2. I'm the 8th of 10 children (same parents, no twins) and the youngest girl.
3. I was a guard instructor for a few high school bands in Georgia & had the pleasure of accompanying one band to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.
4. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because of family get-togethers without the stress of having to buy a present!
5. My dream retirement: The Keys in the Winter & Copenhagen in the Summer.

Jessica is giving away a gift card to one lucky person! To join in the spirit of Thanksgiving, you have the chance to win Christmas On/Off Topic by entering below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Gobble Up Holiday Goodies

Oh.My. I tend to go overboard with Christmas goodies! I just love this time of year!!!
The excitement, the music, the joy that are associated with this time of year just makes me so happy.
For the last day of therapy before Christmas Break, I usually try to do something food related. One year, I made brownies & used a Christmas Tree cookie cutter for the kids to decorate.

Another year I brought in sugar cookies for the kids to decorate like reindeer.
I've also used some "non-food" activities:

 On a personal level, I've continued a tradition that my mom handed down to us:

Check out some other goodies in the 2015 Gifts of Gab FREE  Holiday ebook for SLPs
2015 Gifts of Gab FREE Holiday ebook for SLPs
Kim & Jenna did a fantastic job putting this together!
Since I'm in the process of building my store (Old School Speech), I've been really busy lately getting things ready for my first  Christmas on TpT! You can find the following items in my store:
 Describe Write Draw Christmas Version: LITE                                        Christmas On Off Topic: LITE             

Christmas On Off Topic                                         Describe Write Draw Christmas Version     

Winter 3 Games in 1                                         Turkey Claus: A Speech/Language Companion

Want to keep up with the Frenzied SLPs? Make sure to "like" our Facebook Page! HUGE thank you to Sparklle SLP, SLP Runner, and Doyle Speech Works for hosting this month...they did an AWESOME job! :)
Don't forget to click on the links below to see what goodies other Frenzied SLPs have for you!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Thankful & Grateful: Frenzied Scavenger Hunt

Sparklle SLP, Speech Universe, and SLPRunner had this awesome idea for our Frenzied SLP post: A SCAVENGER HUNT!
Collect a letter at each blog, put them together to make a phrase, then enter the rafflecopter. You may be the winner of a $10 Starbucks Card AND a $10 TpT giftcard! AND THERE ARE 3 WINNERS!!!

I have so much to be thankful for this year. Personally, my family has had a few health scares, but everybody is okay, thanks to modern medicine. I'm also so thankful that my 3 boys men are healthy and are happy. And I can't forget my husband of 31 years...I'm so very thankful that he puts up with me! I'm also very grateful that he agreed to move to my hometown...I was so glad that I had 10 years of living up the street from my mom before she passed away.
Professionally, I'm extremely grateful to be a part of an amazing online SLP community. I'm relatively new to the Frenzied SLPs, but I know that they're there for support and advice if/when I need them. I just wish I was going to ASHA this year so I could meet some of them in person!
Y'all are probably tired of hearing about this, but I have a dream job. I have an incredible Special Ed Coordinator who supports me without question. I work with wonderful staffs at both of my schools, and I have a couple of great speech rooms. One may be rather small, but it's "home" & I love it! To top it off, it has some pretty incredible views:
Now to the good part! Grab my letter and add it to the others collected through the bloghop. 
Got it? Click on the turkey below to go to Putting Words In Your Mouth to see what she's thankful for. She'll have another letter for you as well! 
Want to start at the beginning? Click on the turkey below:
If you already have all the letters and know the phrase, you can enter through the Rafflecopter below. GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 6, 2015

A Weakness made Strength

We all have weaknesses. The best thing you can do with a weakness is recognize it and turn it into a strength. I'm joining SLP Runner to talk about a weakness that turned into a strength.
Many moons ago, I was in my 6th or 7th year as a Public School Speech Clinician (as we were called back then). I had never had a bad observation; I thought I was rather good at my job.
Then I switched school systems. My special ed director at the time was a former preschool teacher, so she was very well versed in early childhood development. She observed me with a Kindergarten language impaired student, and she Ripped. Me. Apart. After I received the write-up, I went to the Central Office to talk to her. This happened 25 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday.
As soon as I walked in the door, she said, "I thought you'd be by to see me." We sat down and she basically told me that what I was doing the student was above her level; it was too high for her. I had to admit she was right. It was hard to accept, but it was just what I needed. 
That was the last poor observation I received. I've remembered that sinking feeling ever since and I've sworn to myself that it would never happen again. I learned so much from that observation, and it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. Did I cry? You bet. Did I question my abilities? Absolutely. But, it didn't kill me and it definitely made me stronger as an SLP.
Do you want to find out how others turned their weakness into a strength? Click here to see who else linked up.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Why You Should Get Involved With Your State Organization

Last May, I joined Speech2U and other SLPs in a linky. We talked about why we joined our state organization. I just came home from the TAASLP Convention and I'm ready to talk about why you should get involved with your state organization. 
I, along with 2 coworkers, had the honor of kicking off the convention by being the first presenters for the preschool/school tract on Thursday morning. 
My coworkers left after the presentation, but I stayed so I could help out and complete my obligations. I was thrown into the position of being co-chair for the preschool/school tract. I say "thrown into" because I offered to help with whatever I could. Next thing I know, I'm getting an email introducing me and the other co-chair as co-chairs! There was a moment of panic and yelling, NO! You were supposed to call me! at the laptop. But, then I calmed down and carried on. And, it wasn't that bad...or time consuming. 
The result: We had an awesome convention with speakers that are relevant to the schools. Several people told me that they took away things that they could go back and start doing on Monday. THAT'S what it's all about, and that's a huge reason you should get involved with your state organization. 
This is how our convention is set up;or, rather, how it was set up this year (this was my first year attending): We have a featured speaker on Thursday, and one on Friday. There is an hour presentation before and after the featured presenter. This year for Thursday, we had a certain guy who is so on fire for Speech/Language, it's infectious. He brought us different ways to use apps that aren't necessarily "Speech/Language Apps". Things that we can do on Monday; things that will make our kids excited to come to speech, too, AND a way to take our therapy to a whole different level. 
I was stoked that I not only got to meet Erik X. Raj, but I introduced him! What a nice guy!!! If you've never seen him present, I would highly recommend it! Simply amazing! His presentation wasn't about promoting his apps (which are fantastic, by the way), but rather how he could help us learn to incorporate videos and apps into our sessions. (I've now re-downloaded youtube on my iPad...can't wait to use it with some of my kids!)
Friday, Jane Kitson (Atlanta area Mother Goose) spoke. I had the good fortune to see her a couple of times at the SCSHA Convention. She is just about to retire, but she still gets you motivated for the little ones, and gives you fantastic ideas to incorporate music into your therapy sessions. Seeing her present never gets old! She'll have you moving & laughing while she's planting those seeds in your head!
Thursday night was the "Exhibitor's Reception", which meant hors d'oeuvres & a cash bar. And networking. Since I was there by myself and didn't know anyone, I asked if I could sit with a group of SLPs who were from the same school system. We had some great conversation, and I picked up on a couple of things that need to brought to the attention of the "powers that be". 
Then came the "Spirit Competition". Students from the 5 university departments in the state could enter. They were supposed to incorporate their university, along with some speech/language lingo. Here's the winner (from MTSU):

This university only has an undergrad dept.(Hence the "Dear future grad school"!) The best intern I had was an alum from this university, so if you're looking for an awesome undergrad speech school, look into MTSU in Murfreesboro, Tn.!
Following that was the "College Bowl". All 5 schools were represented, and each team could have 4 members but only 3 were on the panel at one time. The questions were really tough! Following the rounds, there was a "final jeopardy" question; the teams could bet as many points as they wanted. I don't know these girls, but I was so proud that they won (since that's where I went for my B.S.):
They won the trophy for the year, a certificate, state bragging rights, and their Praxis fees are paid by EBS.  Well done, ladies!!! 
I have to mention the networking. See the lady behind the girls in the picture above? During the college bowl, she came up to me and we talked for a looooong time. She is super nice and gave me a lot of suggestions. We talked about presenting (and how to get invited to present at the ASHA Schools Convention) and state organizations. And, she just happens to be an ASHA Fellow. She made the comment that we're all here to help each other and strengthen our profession. That thought resonated with me through the convention: We're not here for our own personal gain (most of us, anyway!)...we're here to help other SLPs/SLTs/SLPAs become better, which will ultimately help our students.
There was 1 exhibitor that I had been looking forward to meeting. I was bummed when Meredith from The Peachie Speechie said she wasn't coming, but I did very much enjoy meeting her husband and her father-in-law (who is known as the Cariboo Whisperer, but I call him the Cariboo god!):
Seriously...the man is like a Cariboo magnet. I think he can walk into a thrift store and they jump into his arms. I saw quite a few of their shirts the next day, so hopefully it was worth their while to drive a couple of hours and spend the day with us.
Despite the audio/visual snaffoos (which were remedied in a decent amount of time), I thought the convention went very well. I don't know if I'll be on the planning committee next year, but I would definitely volunteer for it!
Bottom line: Get involved in your state organization so they will hear what those of us in the school trenches want and need. This year, most of the officers in my state organization are audiologists...they have no idea what our needs are (they are the first to admit it), and they won't know unless we stand up and make our voices heard.

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