Monday, August 19, 2013

That "S" Word

Let's just jump right in, shall we?  One of the things that SLPs dread the most at the beginning of the year is that "S" word.  I'm not talking about the "S" word that public school SLPs love in the winter, either.  I'm talking about "Scheduling".  With Common Core and the emphasis on testing, it's getting harder and harder to schedule students.
When I first started working, I used something very similar to what I use now.  I sent out a page to each teacher notifying them of the speech students in her class and how many times I was scheduled to see them.  Then, I would ask that they mark the 3 best times for me to take them out of class for speech/language therapy.
As time marched on, a lot of the teachers would only put down 1 time.  So, I decided to switch it up.  It's worked for me for quite a few years.  I know some SLPs who will look at the school's specials (PE, Music, Art, Library) schedule, the lunch schedule, recess schedule, and each individual teacher's schedule and attempt to schedule the students.  I know some other SLPs who have a chart with the times, and will ask teachers to come by and sign up for a time.  Who knows best when a student can be out of the room?  Yep, the teacher.  I'm not saying my way is fool-proof.  There are some years that I have to go to teachers, show them my schedule, and beg them to be flexible.  The trick is to know which teachers you can depend on to be flexible, and hit them up first.
The best thing about doing it this way is that it's actually a time-saver.  I put the requests in the boxes, email to let them know they're there, and go about my business until I have to work things out.  Another trick here is to not look at the completed requests until you have all of them in hand. It's kind of like peeking at Christmas presents before the big day.  In this case, though, you won't be disappointed, you'll be stressed.
Now that I have your interest piqued, here's the big reveal:  (Click for a larger picture.)
It looks so easy and simple because, in reality, it is.  The form you see above is for my school that I go to 2 times/week.  I forgot to block off time for S-Team, so be aware that I normally would do that.  Lunch?  I work it around the teacher's schedule, since I can be a lot more flexible than they can.  I refuse to have lunch at 10:30, or after 12:30; it usually ends up being at 11:00 or 11:30.  

I think it's easier for the teachers, as well.  They look at the times and block off the times when they absolutely don't want their students to be out of the classroom.  I still have years when a teacher will mark every time off except one.  Most of the time it's one of the upper grades, and, since they bear the brunt of the test scores, I try to schedule them first.  Kindergarten is usually the easiest to schedule:  most of the time they're the ones who will take the "leftovers".

Give me your opinion:  Is this something that would work for you in your school?  How do you schedule students?

4 comments:

  1. I am excited to try this this year!

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  2. This looks awesome! Would you be willing to share the form you distribute to teachers? Thanks

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    Replies
    1. If you click on the picture, it will show a bigger view so you can see it better. If you'd still like the form, please email me & I'll be happy to send it to you! tnslp29@gmail.com

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