When it comes to making your speech therapy schedule in the school setting, the process can be overwhelming and ever changing. There is no PERFECT way to make your speech therapy schedule, but after making a schedule for many years, I do have some tips and tricks for you. In this Real Talk SLP podcast episode, I share my biggest piece of advice for how to approach the speech therapy schedule as well as tools, tips, and tricks for streamlining the process.
Tools and Software to Help You Create Your Speech Schedule
Using paper and pencil can work really well for creating your speech schedule, but there are some digital tools that have speech therapy schedule templates to help with updating your schedule throughout the school year. Here are some of the tools mentioned in this episode:
Swivel Scheduler by Maureen Wilson
Google Forms for getting teacher requests (free Google Form for getting classroom teacher requests)
Free Speech Therapy Schedule Template
Put your speech therapy schedule on a Google Doc (there is a free one on this podcast episode) and make a copy each week to make any group changes, add in meetings, when you will assess students and other tasks you need to do.
Steps for Creating Your Speech Therapy Schedule
- Get the master schedule from the school secretary for recesses
- Find out the teacher’s schedules either by asking for a copy if they have that or send them a Google Form to fill out times to avoid pulling their kids.
- You can tell them to give 1st, 2nd, 3rd choices, but explain in your email that you have X amount of students on your caseload and cannot fit in 50 kids from 8-8:30 or 2:30.
- If you are considering doing co-teaching, take the time to meeting with those teachers to find the best times, discuss roles and expectations. Schedule those first.
- Your self contained classrooms tend to have a little more flexibility so if you run into scheduling shifts, maybe approach them.
- Get PE, RSP services and RTI schedules
- Block off your assessment and paperwork time. We had a day to switch between our sites to do paperwork, testing, etc. Do not put students during that blocked off time.
- Get RSP schedules, RTI to reference and check in with those specials to see if there is anything they are doing with scheduling
- Use post its or some sort of system for documenting the students age, teacher and service minutes. Know when you CAN’T see students.
- Create your first draft of the schedule and either do a run through making notes of what worked/didn’t work, or send it out to teachers via Google Doc for them to see if there are any issues with their student’s speech time.
- Make changes as needed throughout the school year.
Tips and Ideas for Streamlining Your Speech Schedule
Speech is beautiful recommends color coding students by feature in your schedule
Try to group by classroom or age group. If you can group by similar goals that is a benefit or try to look at language goals to see which ones are easier to do with other articulation and phonology sounds
Consider having a scheduling party in the lunch room, bring donuts have them find times for their students.
Whatever you do, send out the schedule to each teacher and let them check it out. They usually can help spot errors or issues that you may have not seen.
If you have any tips for creating your speech therapy schedule share in the comments!