Most SLPs know that May is Better Speech & Hearing Month. This is the month when SLPs can draw awareness to the field of speech pathology. By the time May rolls around, SLPs are tired. It is hard to come up with inspiring SLP ideas for BSHM. I totally get it….. Which is why I’m on a mission to demystify our role during this important time of the year and offer up some SLP ideas for BSHM.
What I Won’t Be Doing This Year For BSHM
I am going to be honest with you all. IEP craziness has drained much of my creativity for BSHM. This year, I won’t be doing bulletin boards, cute souvenirs in the lunch room for teachers about vocal hygiene, or facts about communication disorders. I won’t be doing a presentation to staff about statistics or ways they can increase language in the classroom. If you do want to tackle these things, I applaud you! Here are a few ideas that I have done over the years (some are super easy).
If you are in my boat, don’t worry — I have a fun and EASY idea for how you can help demystify the job of the SLP during BSHM. For all you fabulous SLPs feeling creative and excited to do something this month, here are some blog posts and resources that I have found to help you spread the word about speech and hearing!
SLP Ideas for BSHM Round Up
I did this blog post a few years about with ways to Celebrate Better Speech & Hearing Month at your schools! On the blog post, there are ways to celebrate SLPs, sport some of your favorite SLP themed t-shirts and an idea for a bulletin board and/or craft!
SLP Thank You Poster from Speech Room News is a great way to say thank you to the SLP working with your child, your CF supervisor or an SLP that has helped you get through the year.
SLP Fortune Teller for Better Speech & Hearing Month by SLP Talk With Desiree has a FREE low prep printable for SLPs to help share Better Speech & Hearing Month with their students.
SLP Ideas For BSHM That Can Be Shared With Staff
A Simple SLP Idea For BSHM That Is Still FUN
What better way to demystify the job of the SLP than putting your staff up to a little weekly challenge? Of course, you’ll likely have to entice them with some Starbuck’s gift cards, candy, or snacks for the winners. Each week, I am going to email my staff a little challenge to help the staff understand a little bit more about my job.
So often, teachers and educators assume we must be just playing games or perusing Pinterest when we aren’t seeing students. If they only knew that we bill medicaid, plan lessons for 55 + students (some of which have 4+ goals), collaborate with over 30 teachers (think about how many teachers are at your sites), assess students, set up the IEP meetings, run the IEP meetings, do research for best practices, take data, write progress reports and the list goes on. I totally know that we should not compare job roles and teachers have their work cut out for them. This is not what this activity is about. However, it is to:
- Foster a better understanding and valuing the SLPs skills. Second, SLPs can start building community on campus around their job role.
- Let people know that we are kicking some booty when it comes to AAC, social pragmatics, phonology, articulation, fluency, language, speech intelligibility, and bilingual language development. It is time for SLPs to start sharing about the skill set they have around the speaking and listening standards on common core.
If your staff doesn’t do too hot on the challenges, this is your cue for “I better start teaching my staff about my job.”
As for me, I am going to go big with the Starbuck’s $5 giftcard for the winner because I want good participation. We all know that coffee makes people move!
Here are some ideas for email challenges each week:
-First person to email what SLP stands for will with a $5 starbucks card
-First person to visit me in my speech nook will win a $5 Starbuck’s card. (For those of you lovely SLPs that are in some ridiculous spaces like bathrooms, band rooms, etc. this will be a chance for them to see your working environment. That way when you advocate for a new room, they might just chime in to help ya get something better!
-Guess how many IEPs I attended this year (closest guess wins a $5 giftcard)
-Name at least three disorders that I treat in my therapy program (This is a test to see if your staff knows you treat more than articulation and fluency.)
-Share three ways you can use a game to teach language skills (Once you get all the submissions, you can be a rockstar SLP and share all the ways you adapt your favorite game in therapy. Throw in some common core standards to really make an impression.)
-Guess how many students are on my caseload (closest guess wins a $5 giftcard).
-Write a message in IPA and the first staff member to tell you what it says wins a $5 giftcard.
What other funny challenges could you do to help your staff understand your role a little more on campus? I would love to know what you have up your sleeve! If you share, I will add them to the post.