Self reflection is one of the HARDEST things for me to do (biggest self critic), yet when I let myself be honest about a situation, I am able to take ownership of my weaknesses, let go of what I can’t control and celebrate my strengths. As an SLP, one of the most important aspects of our job is SELF REFLECTION! Much of the successes with our clients/students centers around how we are interacting with them and the lessons we plan to help students/clients meet their goals. In addition, our relationships with other professionals and parents are a vital part for our clients/students success. Doing the job of an SLP is quite a tall order and in no means easy.
IEP meetings, assessments, paperwork documentation, planning therapy, collaborating with colleagues, writing goals, staying up to date with current research and therapy techniques, taking data, building rapport with students, calling parents, advocating for our students, sharing work spaces and trying to maintain our own sanity is a juggling act. By around December of the school year, the thrill of planning therapy begins to wear off, interactions with unhappy parents may have occurred and conflicts with programs and colleagues may have ensued. For some of you, just the stress alone of a gigantic caseload, paired with excessive paperwork and timelines makes showing up to work a daunting task!
“Don’t become too preoccupied with what is happening around you, pay more attention to what is happening within you.” Mary Frances Winters
Sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place.
I am not what I have done, I am what I have overcome.
Any of these quotes relate to you? I found these quotes and immediately identified with them. When I am knee deep with work, I sometimes forget to take some time away to reflect about how I am performing in my job. Sometimes when I consume my mind with all the issues of the work place or with a student’s lack of progress, I forget to find the positives in my job. There are those days when I want to beat myself down because I had a horrible therapy session, a mile long list of assessments to complete or a difficult conversation with a parent. It is days like that when I need to step back and look at WHY the session or the day (or weeks, lol) haven’t gone well. Self reflecting also allows me to recognize when the actions of others has NOTHING to do with my behavior and everything to do with their own hurts and issues. For example, is my lack of therapy planning really my own inability to stay organized when I had a caseload over 80 or am I managing things well given my circumstances? You feel me!?
I decided to make some self reflection forms to help remind me of my goals, make a plan for change if needed and revamp my creativity, so that I can be the BEST educator I can! Because we still have 5 months left of school!
Here are some additional reasons why I created these forms.
I have to complete a professional portfolio for my evaluation this year and wanted to show some documentation of professional goal setting & ways I am trying to improve my skills. (page 3, 6)
I needed some forms to help me reflect about the quality of my therapy and interactions with my students. (page 5)
Although I don’t regularly do S.O.A.P. notes like I did back in graduate school, I wanted a S.O.A.P. note form to use periodically to analyze if I planned therapy around student’s goals and what impacted the session (both external/internal factors). (page 4)
Every year, I am faced with challenges in my job. When I write those challenges down, it helps me to accept the things I can’t control and figure out ways around the “road block”. This allows me to not get “stuck in the mud” and move forward with a more positive outlook about my job. (page 7)
Hang your self reflections in a picture frame or store in a binder to help remind yourself of your goals! How do you self reflect in your job? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any cool tips!