Yeah, I’ve dropped the ball, haven’t written anything on the blog for 1 ½ weeks now. I am a world class slacker. Truthfully, things have just been busy, and I’ve been lazy on Tuesday mornings (when I usually write my new posts). So, I’m try to be better in the future.
Now I do have to admit, that even though I use my iPod touch a lot in speech therapy, I also play a lot of games on it. I recently bought a game called Mystic Emporium. I doubt you’ve heard of it, doesn’t matter, it’s basically a “Diner Dash” style game (don’t worry, I’m really getting somewhere with this). In the game Dinner Dash, you are a waitress trying to take care of a diner. You have to seat people, get their order, put the order in to the cooks, clean up their tables, etc. Seems simple, right? Well, once you get going to gets a little crazy, you have like 3 families waiting to be seated, you’re trying to get an elderly couples food out to them, while cleaning up several tables so more people can be seated. Basically it’s a time management game. You have to try to multi-task as much as possible, try to kill two birds with one stone whenever you can, basically try to survive while you have a million things to do.
It then hit me, are these kind of games so different than my life as a speech language pathologist? Working with teachers with classroom interventions, sending home this consent to evaluate, planning for that therapy session, finding time to evaluate a student, sped meetings, progress reports, IEPs, etc, etc, etc.
Suddenly the game seemed a little less interesting. It was starting to hit too close to home.
Time management is something I’m still working on. Keeping on top of IEPs can be tricky when you are working year round. You have to pay attention to who is going off track soon so you can get their meetings done before they leave. Sometimes they sneak up on you. I’m trying to keep on top of the many referrals that I have coming through the wood works. I’m getting better about documenting everything so I don’t let any kids slip through the cracks.
Now I’m not going to even claim to be an expert in this area, I’m still trying to learn how to do this myself, but I have a book that’s been helping me keep everything in focus. First Things First by Stephen R. Covey, A. Rodger Merrill, and Rebecca R.Merrill has been a great asset. Now I don’t do everything in the book, actually, I need to do a whole lot more so I can stay on top of things. But the book doesn’t focus on staying on top of things so much as focusing on the most important things.
I think sometimes we can get caught up so much into the paperwork and the logistics of everything that we end up sacrificing the child. I have to admit, at times when I have a lot of IEPs to write, and several other paperwork related items to get to, I’ve felt the “therapy” was getting in the way of me doing my job. Woah! What was that? Yeah, the things they teach in this book is helping me keep the right focus. The students come first; their progress is the most important. Of course everything else has to get done as well. That’s just the nature of our jobs. We have to be able to do everything. However, again, our priority has to be the people we’re serving weather it is students at a school or patients in a hospital.