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More than just making it through--for the new Clinical Fellow

07 August 2014

As I prepare for my second year working in the school district, it's crazy to think that I'm done with my CF(clinical fellowship) year. I met a new CF who is taking over my old caseload this week and was amazed in just talking with her how much I had learned and how far I had come in just one year.

Maybe you're like me, one or twenty years past your CF. Or maybe you're starting your clinical fellowship, confident in what you've learned over the past 6 years, but still not really sure how to set off "on your own".
Well, some of my bloggy pals and I have decided to give you our tricks of the trade and words of wisdom that we wish we would have known when we were just starting off.

-Ask Questions
It's often so much better to ask questions before you tackle a tough eval or parent meeting before you jump in and make big mistakes. Everyone has been where you are at one time, so ask away. Then, write down the answer so you have the knowledge the next time you find yourself in the same spot.

-Be Brave!
On that same note, take some risks! Want to change a therapy approach? Do it. Think a student could benefit from specific support in the classroom? Go talk to the teacher, or drop an e-mail.

-Have confidence
Often during my CF year, I found myself not speaking up when I felt like I should, or offering a piece of advice to a stuck co-worker at a SLP staff meeting. I would often think, "What do I know? I"m just a CF!" That's just it! You're a CF! You've just been through 6 years of intense schooling. If it's the latest in research and technique, chances are you know it and know it well! While nothing can replace on the field experience that some of your more seasoned co-workers may have, but you have quite a bit of knowledge!

-Be friendly
 While this may seem silly (as SLPs are typically a pretty friendly folk!), it's a good reminder. You'd be surprised at how far a genuine smile and "hello" may get you, especially working with new staff and teachers. Schedule yourself a lunch and eat with the teachers in the lounge. If you're working in your room before or after school (you will be from time to time and it's ok), prop your door open. Even if no one comes in, a closed door is less inviting than an open one. Attend staff meetings, breakfasts, etc. Teachers are much more likely to be on your team if they see you are trying to be on theirs.
Here's a few nuggets of wisdom from some other bloggers:
So there you go--a little pep talk from those of us who have been there. Now, go forth and make it the best CF year you can!
"It's ok to say you don't know. Act confident in your abilities because that will go a long way. And be ok with the fact that you will have at least one very unattractive meltdown. Like one where you can't breathe and you do that hiccuping thing. Totally normal."- Teach Speech 365

"Take time to observe as much as you can. You're going to get so busy. Your CF is really the last time you have a good excuse to go sit and watch a lot of other therapists." Jenna, Speech Room News

"Make sure to ask about caseloads and workloads. Be sure to set your limits from the beginning if that is possible about how much work you are willing to do. By that I mean, allowing your employer to take advantage giving more work than can be done ( talking schools right now). Ask other SLP's for help and insight on your cases, you will learn a lot and you might realize that you KNOW a lot, so feel confident in that." Felice, The Dabbling Speechie

"Know that you won't have the time or energy to do everything. Learn how to figure out what your priorities should be, and focus on those, otherwise you'll be stressed out and overloaded by the end of your first month. Not everything has to be perfect!" Natalie Snyders

"Walk in confidently and know what your expectations are. Teachers will have much more respect for someone who isn't wishy-washy...and then run to your CF supervisor with all your questions :) " Nicole, Allison's Speech Peeps 

So there you go--a little pep talk from those of us who have been there. Now, go forth and make it the best CF year you can!

Blog Birthday Remix (or, When Technology Fails)

29 July 2014

Well, it goes a little something like this.
I spent a few nights in a row prepping awesome posts and giveaways for my blog birthday week and I was so pumped when it was ready to go live. And then, I went on vacation. Without my computer.

It turns out that my posts weren't as complete as I had thought, and when I discovered this I had no way of fixing the problem from hours away. The long and short of it? I messed up.
The good news is, however, that I am calling "RE-DO!" and opening up all the giveaways this week so you still have a chance to get your hands on some sweet free stuff. If you already entered, make sure you go back and check that all your entries are still good!

So, check out this post, this post, this post, and this post. All giveaways will now end 8/5/14.

You guys are awesome, and I'm never going on vacation without my laptop again.

Let's Talk Speech Therapy turns 2!--Day 4

17 July 2014

Now that you about this giveaway, and this giveaway, and this giveaway it's time for some birthday freebies!

If you watched my first tutorial video (yikes!), you would have found out that my classroom theme for this upcoming school year is CHEVRON. I'm obsessed. As in my friends roll their eyes each time they see something even remotely close to the pattern when we are out together because they KNOW I'm at least going to spend time "Oooh" and "Ahhh"-ing over it.

Anyway, my mission this school year is to brighten up my new, tiny office and what better way than with labels?!
I've whipped up some of these cuties and thought I'd pass them on to you. 6 colored labels and 6 black & white labels are both pre-written and blank so you can laminate them and make them whatever you want them to be. That's a total of 24!  Each label is 3x5, or the size of a note card. Print as many copies as you'd like and make your speech room or office just that much more fun.

Use this link to download them for free!

Make sure you've entered all three of my fab birthday giveaways, and then tune in tomorrow for more great things!