I think one thing all SLPS have in common, besides being fabulous, is that we are all busy! An image floating around social media awhile back really struck me and made me laugh. It was something to do with “caffeinating and hoping for the best.” Some days I feel like my therapy is “instagrammable”, and other days I drink a lot of coffee. Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years that help me maximize my “prep time” and minimize my stress. Therapy isn’t always pretty, but these tips help me keep my sanity as the paperwork starts to pile up!
- Year Round Units– If I can use a material any day of the year, it is more valuable to me. I am more willing to put in the time to print/laminate/cut/assemble something that I can use any time of the year because I know I will use it every year. My personal favorite year round unit is Yoga for Speech and Language.
- Units that can be used with multiple groups– I hate clutter, both physical clutter and mental clutter. I feel so much better starting my day knowing that I am “playing bingo” all morning. If I can use a unit with multiple groups, especially over multiple days, I’m in. The only seasonal units you will find in my speech room are ones that can be used with (nearly) my entire caseload.
- No Prep Units-This is sort of a no brainer, but I thought it was worth mentioning. Having a “stash” of print and go or no print products can be a huge time saver when the paperwork starts to pile up.
- Books–In my mind, books are the ultimate therapy tool. Keeping books you are familiar with on hand allows you to be able to target nearly any goal without needing any “materials” besides your brain. One thing we LOVE to do in my speech room is make a “movie” by recording ourselves retelling the story. This is great for gathering informal language samples as well!
- Games-Ah, the great game debate. I think games are a super useful therapy tool. Playing games is a great way to target a variety of skills, and an easy way to make “drill” more fun. Pair a game with some task cards and you are good to go! I like using these as conversation prompts during game play.
- Know your materials-I am fortunate to work in a building with tons of materials. In my first few years there, I felt like I always needed to be finding and printing new activities because I never took the time to figure out what I had access to. Knowing what is available to you really does help save you time in the long run!
How do you maximize your prep and minimize your stress? I’d love to hear what works for you!
Thanks for stopping by!