The official countdown has begun! Just two weeks left in the school year before we depart for a summer of excitement, relaxation, and adventure. While the days are winding down, the workload (especially paperwork) always seems to pick up! I often find myself taking many deep breaths and taking it a day at a time. Although it can be stressful, here are a few tips for ways to keep your sanity and keep it fun!
- Make the last therapy session of the year fun, while still targeting goals– I typically plan an activity that will facilitate communication in a fun way, such as a scavenger hunt around the school. This activity can be used for all students, but can be adapted in a way that targets each student’s individual goals. The kids love the movement and transitions throughout the building. These types of activities make planning simple!
- Summer Homework Packets– Many parents often ask “What can I do for my child this summer when they are not receiving weekly therapy sessions?” The answer is to incorporate practice into each day! I have developed my own calendars for each Summer month and designed them to specifically address articulation, language, fluency, pragmatics, etc. The children complete the activities on the calendar and can return the packet in the Fall for a special prize! Don’t have the time to whip up your own calendars? No worries! Sites like Teachers Pay Teachers and Speaking of Speech have pre-made Summer calendars for free or low cost!
- Plan Ahead!– Although thinking about next school year may be the last thing on your mind, planning ahead helps to assure a smoother kick-off to the new school year. Update student files/ paperwork, organize materials for ease of use, and determine the size and needs of your upcoming caseload.
- Student rewards/ prizes/ gifts– These are certainly not necessary, but are often a great way to end the year! Print certificates for the students which highlight their unique qualities and strengths, award small prizes for completed homework or attendance, or give each student a small token to remember the year! Pinterest is bursting with ideas, so take a look!
- Reflect– June is a great time to assess what elements of therapy you would like to continue as well as those you would like to change or add. Maybe you would like to introduce a new social skills group, change therapy materials, or group your students differently. Feedback from colleagues is helpful in accomplishing this goal.
Most importantly, remember the finish line is in sight and you can do it! Just breathe and take it a day (or assignment) at a time! Happy Summer!