A new year is coming, and we have a choice.
Are we choosing to feel overwhelmed?
Or are we choosing to have a positive mindset?
I totally get it! It is so easy to feel overwhelmed and to dread the upcoming school year.
I’m sharing a manifesto that I wrote for myself a few months ago. I put it in my journal to keep me going and to remind myself why I do what I do! (What we do is pretty amazing, isn’t it?)
These statements definitely do not feel true every day. Some days, none of them feel true.
By stating what kind of SLP I want to be, I’ve gotten closer to making those statements a reality. I know it sounds kind of silly, but there is so much research to back that up (e.g., Crum & Langer, 2007).
So here goes nothing!
1. I make a difference in the lives of my students.
The work we do is so truly incredible! We legitimately change brains and help students communicate! How cool is that?
2. I help students find their voice.
I believe that every student deserves a voice to my very core. Everything that I do in therapy is directed towards empowering students to do just that.
3. I am a voice for students with disabilities and will speak up.
I will also be the voice for students who aren’t able to advocate for themselves. I will do my very best to make sure my students are getting what they deserve.
4. I celebrate my students’ success.
Every step of progress is worth celebrating. We regularly high five, cheer, and have 30-second dance parties in my speech room.
5. I don’t give up on students.
I love this quote… “If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.” – Ignacio Estrada
All of our students are unique. If our first (or second…or third…or twentieth) approach isn’t working, it does not mean that the student can’t learn. I’ve heard so many teachers predetermine a student’s inability to do something, and it breaks my heart every time. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. With creativity and perseverance, we can unlock each student’s potential.
6. I don’t know everything, but I know how to find the answer.
Especially regarding #5! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt stuck, from a pesky articulation target to a student with very challenging behavior. Instead of giving up, I reach out to other SLPs and professionals. I have always been able to find nuggets of information that helped me tackle the problem, and I became a better SLP because of it!
7. I am constantly learning and improving.
Related to #6! I always seek out information when I’m confronted with a problem, but I’ve scheduled in time to keep learning. Here’s a peek at how I do it!
8. I do what I say I’m going to do.
This! When it comes to being part of a team, ensuring student progress, and taking care of myself, staying true to my word has made a world of a difference. That said, I’m also not afraid to say “no.” I know my boundaries!
9. I take care of myself so I can be the best version of myself at work (and in life)!
This took me a very long time to “get.” I work hard and make sure I’m very efficient with my time when I’m at work, but I also make sure that I “play hard” and make time for the things that re-energize me (e.g., going to happy hours, playing tennis, prepping healthy meals). Our jobs can be extremely demanding, and we need the time to recharge!
10. I am exactly who I need to be.
At the end of the day, I know I am doing my very best work. I’m not perfect, but I truly care about my students and have something to offer. It’s so easy to compare ourselves to other teachers or SLPs (e.g., based on stories they share, the gifts they receive from parents, what they post on social media), but you are who you need to be!
Now it’s your turn! What is in your personal manifesto? 🙂