If you work in a school, you know how stressful the beginning of the school year can be. Transfers, screenings, new evaluations, scheduling, and planning therapy can really take a toll on your stress level. Here are a few tips to help relieve that stress and keep you loving your job:
♥ Get organized. Make sure you put things in your calendar, no matter how trivial you think they may be. Don't forget to look at your calendar every day to keep up with what you have to do.
♥ Get ahead. It may take you a weekend to do this, but it will be worth it. Print out notices to meetings for the week ahead, and print out drafts for meetings for the week. September is a very hectic month for me, so I've got all of my meeting notices for the month into the computer, ready to print out when I need to send it. I have all of the present levels and projected objectives in the computer, also ready to print out the draft IEP.
♥ Be prepared. If there's a question as to the recommendation for the frequency (or dismissal) of a student, call the parent ahead of time and discuss the options. For example: there is a 6 year old whose birthday is in May. He has corrected all sounds except for /s,z/, and he still has his "baby" upper incisors. I usually don't work on /s,z/ until the student is 7, or has his permanent upper incisors (since the incisors are bigger than the baby ones, and may create a barrier that will keep the tongue in...thus "self-correcting".) I call the parent and talk about the options: keeping the student at 2x/week for an hour/week, consultative services (checking on him once/month), or dismissal (knowing that if the sound doesn't correct itself, all of the paperwork will have to be redone to recertify him as speech impaired.) This keeps the parent from being put on the spot and have to make a decision at the meeting. And, if the parent requests dismissal, you have the paperwork ready to present at the meeting.
♥ Have an extracurricular activity for yourself. When my boys were younger, I had their football, soccer, and baseball games to keep me busy and keep my mind off of school. Then, when my youngest was in high school, I had his band activities to keep me busy. I also did various things for me: I found a volleyball league and later a tennis league to keep me active and to de-stress. Go after your interests and take some time for you!