Getting Ready for Back to School as a Speech Therapist

Sleeping in lateDrinking coffee before it gets cold.  Running on your own scheduleI hope you have been able to enjoy all these things and more this summer.  Though I’ve been happily filling my time off with projects around the house and spending time with my kids, the reality is that many of us are headed back to school sooner than we may be readyIf you’re like me and are slowly turning your school brain back on, here are a few tips to help ease back into the school year. 

Material Organization 

Over the years, I’ve switched organization systems more times than I can count.  I’ve used binders, plastic tubs, file folders, and more.  Summer is a good time to think about how you’re storing your materials and determine if that system is working for you.  If not, it may be time to try something new.  Do you already like the system you have?  Think about how you could improve it - maybe add labels so you can find things more easily when you’re in a rush.  This goes for digital files as well.  A little organization can really help streamline the access to what you need during the school year. 

Along with organizing materials comes another component: PURGING.  If there are materials, resource books or games that are outdated or simply not a fan favorite, it might be a good time to consider donating them or passing them along to another professional. 

Choosing the Right Planner, Case Management, and Keeping Data 

One of our most important jobs is keeping track of deadlines and other caseload responsibilities.  What kind of system works best for you?  I like using a monthly paper calendar where I can write down all my due dates, meetings, school holidays, etc. and be able to easily see what’s coming up next.  I know other SLPs who prefer to maintain everything digitally.  You also want to consider how you’re going to keep track of things like Medicaid billing, RTI students, and upcoming evaluations.  Finally, it’s important to think about how you plan to take data during sessions and consider if you want to use a paper system or digital system for this as well. 

Start Planning 

Planning may seem a bit premature, but while you have the time, it might be beneficial to start thinking about your first few sessions with students.   These sessions are especially important in building rapport, but also to set expectations for the year.  One of my favorite books to kick-off the school year is Time for School, Little Blue Truck.  You may also want to pull some “getting to know you” activities and think about how you’re going to review goals and get some initial baseline data.  It’s also a good time to prep materials, especially any visuals you think you may need for the year. 

Do some of those tasks seem achievable?  I hope you’re leaving with some ideas to get a head start on the school year.  Good luck – I hope it’s a great year! 


Author:  Kelly Leis, M.Ed., CCC-SLP 

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as professional advice. The content is based on the author's personal experiences, research, and opinions. It is always recommended to consult with a qualified professional or expert before making any decisions or taking action based on the information provided in this blog.

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