How to Set Boundaries as a CF

Sometimes setting boundaries is a struggle and not having dedicated time to work or wind down is a fast road to burnout. We’ve put our heads together and come up with some tips on how to set boundaries early while being friendly but consistent.

Be intentional about your time.

You’ll have to weigh being a social butterfly with your workload. I’m an introvert and I need downtime. If someone comes into the room to talk but I’m finishing a report, I will tell them I’ll pop into their classroom when I’m done in 30 minutes.

Set boundaries early.

Be friendly but consistent. Not having dedicated time to work or wind down is a fast road to burnout.

If someone asks you to do a task that is not in your job description, be honest about your workload and ask them if it is a priority over XYZ. 

If you’re looking for additional resources, Nerdra Glover Tawwab has a fantastic book on setting boundaries. Here’s a link to her book, Set Boundaries, Find Peace.

I really love her Instagram account for bite-size pieces on improving relationships.

Set yourself up for success.

Introduce yourself to the team and becoming a resource. If teachers/staff know what the criteria are for referral and how your RtI system works, you can streamline your referral process. This may be new information or a review. You can ask what the old referral process was and gradually change it to one more efficient.

Your first year is for observing and learning!

Some Resources on Missed Sessions and Makeups

ASHA’s stance is that there should not be a blanket policy from districts. Decisions should be made on an individual basis if missed sessions are a denial of FAPE for that particular student.

ASHA Leader Article: Missed Session … What’s Really Missing?

ASHA IDEA Part B Issue Brief: Missed Sessions

Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

If you are unsure of how to respond to something at work, you can ask your supervisor.

I also loved collaborating and learning from others!

Here are some people you can build relationships with:

Occupational Therapist
Physical Therapist

Knowing what other members of the team do can be really helpful for when parents ask for help and you feel like you need to do and know everything.

Be careful about referring for services, and align yourself with your district’s policies. You can always ask other team members for their advice on what to tell parents.

Setting Boundaries to Avoid Burnout

Burnout is a big problem in the education field, as well as speech-language pathology as a whole. Setting boundaries for yourself is important too!

Here are some boundaries to think about:

How much time will you spend at work? How early will you come in? How late are you willing to stay?

How much of your personal time will you devote to SLP-related activities?

How much time will you spend answering emails? Will you answer e-mails outside of work?


Hi there! I'm Marisha. I am a school-based SLP who is all about working smarter, not harder. I created the SLP Now Membership and love sharing tips and tricks to help you save time so you can focus on what matters most--your students AND yourself.

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