10 phrases every slp should say at work

SLP’s working in the school setting can easily be spread thin.  If an SLP isn’t monitoring what he/she is committing to or looking at their current work load situation, things can go from manageable to chaotic in a blink of an eye. We must say no at work when we can’t do something! I compiled a list of 10 phrases every SLP should say at work, but I am getting ahead of myself.

10 phrases every slp should say at work

Over the years, I developed set phrases that every SLP should have ready to say at work. I am a recovering “people pleaser” and “everyone will like me” abuser.  I run a recover group for people like me who are working on saying “NO” (let me know if you want to join).

There are two precursors you must process before actually saying “no” at work…….one, you have to start thinking about actually doing it! For so long you have been flexible and the “yes girl or guy”. To change some of those “yes’s” to “no’s” has to start with you actually thinking about when and where you are going to do just that.

I like to find fun memes or songs that resonate with what I need to channel in my life.  Meghan Trainor’s new hit couldn’t have come at a better time for me! Listening to this song helps me to remember my “yes” and my “no”.  If ANYONE asks me the “Do you want to work summer school?”, I already know that I am going to bust out in song “Nah to the ah to the no, no, no. My name is no.  My sign is no. My number is no. You need to let it go.”


Kevin Hart has also been a great mentor as well lol.

The second precursor is that you have to have a plan about how you are going to say “No”.  For some of your colleagues, you may even need back up!  Make sure you ask for support from your administration before you tell a colleague “No” that could be hostile or volatile. This Buzz Feed Video really helps put into perspective the pros of saying “No” in the long run for your sanity!

This may be a slight exaggeration of how to professionally deliver the “NO” news, but it brings the point that Dr. Cox is very clear about his “NO”.

Now, we are at that place where we have admitted that we have a problem with being the “yes girl or guy” and need to come up with some handy phrases that professionally and respectfully decline what is being asked of us! Here are 10 phrases every SLP should say at work!

  1. Thank you for thinking of me for doing summer school.  Due to unforeseen circumstances, I won’t be able to do summer school. (Or you can just not respond to the email lol).
  2. I so appreciate your speech referral.  I will connect with you about this referral after I finish my current _____ assessments.  This may take me _______ (fill in a reasonable amount of time).
  3. Hello, I am so glad we are able to connect on the telephone.  I have about 10 minutes to talk before I need to go to a meeting.
  4. Please do not sign me up for assessments in the Student Study Team notes when I am not present at the meeting.  The best way to handle concerns with speech is to invite me to the meeting or write in the action plan to consult with the speech therapist.
  5. I don’t think putting me in the janitor’s closet is going to work for me and the students that I service.  Let’s talk about another space for me.
  6. I would love to be present for the IEP meeting; however, I have some time constraints and will need to leave the meeting at ______.
  7. I am so sorry that _________ is out on maternity leave and you have no one to cover her caseload.  Right now, I can’t help out with her caseload because I am already servicing ____ (# on your caseload) and have ____ (#) pending assessments that I am trying to finish.
  8. Students that speak English as their second language need to have time to learn English before moving forward with a speech assessment. I would love to collaborate with you later in the year to see how your student is doing academically.
  9. I am looking forward to meeting you at your son/daughter’s IEP.  Unfortunately, the I am not available on ______ (day/time).  I am available _________ (day/time, give two choices).
  10. I can’t really discuss your student right now, but I would love to collaborate at _______ (provide time).  Or you can just avoid the staff room when you need to get work done!

The Dabbling Speechie

What other phrases do you have in your case manager tool belt?  I would love to add some to my stash of phrases!