Thursday, May 29, 2014

Confidentiality

Confidentiality has taken on a different face since I started working 30 years ago.  Talks about confidentiality consisted of warning us not to talk about students with anyone except their teacher or the principal.  Now, with social media, that "talk" has expanded.  
Taking pictures of students where their faces can be seen on your personal phone is a "no-no", unless, of course, you have the written permission of the parent.  There are parents who don't want their children's faces plastered on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter...that's just a lawsuit waiting to happen!
Even putting kids names and faces on a common wall is a breach of confidentiality.  When a student asks me about another student, I will tell them that they need to ask that student.  That may be taking it to a level it doesn't really need to go, but you can never be too cautious.  
I know it's hard to sit at lunch with teachers and hear them talking about a student that you see. When that happens, it makes me very uncomfortable.  How do you handle that?  Depending on who's at the table, I may just sit and not say anything.  If the teachers all have the student in class (which does happen with my older kids), then we may have a conference of sort. Then there are times when teachers of different grades are eating lunch, and a student is discussed.  If I'm finished eating, I will usually leave at that point.  Otherwise, I will sit quietly until I can quickly finish and leave.  And, there are times when I eat in my room to avoid the talking.  It doesn't happen very often, thank goodness.
I had a teacher talk about a student that I have at another school; she knew him from somewhere else. (She knew that he had speech, and she knew that I was the SLP at that school.) She didn't talk about his speech/language issues, just about him  and the family in general.  I sat and nodded my head, and didn't offer anything.  I suppose I should have stopped her and told her that I couldn't discuss him, but I wasn't discussing him.  
It can get very uncomfortable when someone talks to you about another student, and it's hard to say to that person, "I'm sorry, I can't discuss him/her with you", but I have done it.  You know that the person you say it to is embarrassed, but it has to be said.  It's better to embarrass someone than to be dragged into court.
The "School-Based Speech and Language Therapy" Group on Facebook is wonderful for running scenarios by other professionals.  I'm glad it's a closed group so that we can air out our tough cases or some difficulty we're having with other team members.  It's a very supportive group!  
How do you handle breaches of confidentiality? 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Surviving the End of the Year

I made it to the end of a really rough year.  Too many students, not enough time, eating lunch during therapy, along with some tough meetings made this year the roughest in a long time.  I tried to remember these things to make it to the finish line:

1)  Keep to myself.  It's the end of the year, everybody's tired, and I let my guard down.  There have been years when my mouth has gotten me in trouble.  The best thing I can do is keep my head down, and hole myself in my room.  

2)  Lists, lists, lists.  I have to-do lists for my to-do lists!  Especially when I'm changing schools, which I'm doing for next year.  

3)  If you're changing schools, have things ready for the next person.  I make sure I have Screening Re-check Lists, lists of IEPs that will be due when school starts back up, notes on the students, and any other notes that I wish I had known for the next person.  I always try to leave the Speech Program better than when I found it.

4)  Just to reiterate #1, remember that everybody is tired and stressed.  If someone says something to you that isn't positive, don't take it personal.  It never fails:  I always forget how stressed everyone is, and inevitably I come across some tears.  (Not from something that I've said, but that someone else said.)

Monday, I said goodbye to a fantastic principal and a wonderful staff.  I get to keep my "mountain school", and will go back to where I was 2 years ago.  I am extremely excited to get to work with that staff again; that was the only school where I cried when I left.  I've been in a lot of schools over the past 29 years.

What are your tips for the end of the school year?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Week in Review 05/16/14

This will be the last "Week in Review" for the school year, because, as of this Tuesday, I'm done!!!  
Preschool
For inclusion, we read "What is on the Flowers?" (Chapel Hill Snippets). I used the preschool teacher's reflector so the book would show up on the Smartboard, and we talked about what was on the flower.  They thought the last picture was hilarious!  After that, we made flowers using crumpled tissue paper:
 I had one student who insisted on straightening out the tissue that I crumpled up for him!  He was just too cute!
I didn't pull my students from the Pre-K class for therapy this week because they had a little graduation/party on Wed.!  It's sad to see some of these little ones move on, but it's exciting to see the progress they all made this year!
Games
I stole got this idea from Teach Speech 365.  It took me a few tries to get the game just like I wanted it; this is the end result:
The first group that played it were so excited because it was "just like BeyBlades"! I used the spinning tops from the Target Dollar Spot, wrote numbers in spaces on a piece of construction paper, then put the paper in a cookie sheet.  Worked like a charm!

 For the last day of Speech,I let the kids pick an iPad game (or 2) to play.  The most popular were "Where's my Perry" and "Granny Smith".

Great way to work on reasoning skills, right?
There was a little celebration going on in Pre-K on Wed.:

I'm really going to miss all of those kids next year since I'm not going to be at this school next year.  
So, there you have it.  The year is quickly winding down (only 1 1/2 days left)...all that's left is progress reports, organizing for the next person, and, of course, packing stuff up.
How has your week gone?


Friday, May 9, 2014

Week in Review 05/09/14

Click on the green print to be taken directly to the materials.
 Preschool
For inclusion, we read "Flowers Everywhere" by Chapel Hill Snippets.  Following that, the kids colored each page of the emergent reader  Flowers (free from Kathy Nottingham).  After we put the books together, the kids read the book with the carrier phrase "The flower is (color)."

Saturday, May 3, 2014

WIYC? Linky Party!

Oh, joy!  There's another TpT sale!!!  Time to look ahead to see what I have in my wishlist and get those fall items for next year!
(To be taken directly to the product in TpT, just click on the image.)
Here's what I have in my cart (so far):
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Shell! Language Unit
From Jenn Alcorn...this will probably be the first book we do at the beginning of next year.  The kids' first day is the first week in August, so technically it's still the middle of summer when we start back.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Week in Review 05/02/2014

(Affiliate links are included at the end of this post.  To be taken directly to a TpT product, click on the title in green print.)

It seems like I'm doing pretty much the same thing in therapy lately; probably because it's the end of the school year. We have 2 more full weeks (minus 1 day for Election Day, + 1 1/2 days), and, to be perfectly honest, I'm tired and don't have a lot of patience.  

  5 Minute Day:
 Because of the TCAP Pep Rally last Friday, I had time to get materials all ready and organized for this week.  I put the words from Write & Say the Room:  Spring (All Y'all Need)  on walls, sides of desks, anywhere I could tape them to.
During their 5 minutes (some of them took 10), they wrote the words that had their sounds on the sheet provided in the product.
The sheet is set up to use for homework, which was perfect!
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