I firmly believe that the life of an SLP should be musically documented daily. It would keep things interesting, right? Anyways, I have a new compilation of songs that SLPs must sing to their speech students. If you want some more fun Songs SLP Should Sing you can check out my blog post HERE (love #9) and HERE (#2 sing it the first month of school).
Sometimes our emotions in the therapy room are better emulated in song. I hope you love my latest recommendations and I encourage you to belt those tunes out at work. It will keep ya in a way better mood during therapy, I promise.
Songs SLPs Should Sing To Their Speech Students
1. Whoop there it is – Tag Team
This song should be reserved any time a student makes a sound for the VERY first time. It is the perfect student feedback when they hear ya sing “whoomp there it is.”
2. We Can Work It Out- The Beatles
Whenever things are a bit tricky in speech therapy, you can bust out this song with your student.
3. Dust Yourself Off And Try Again
Sometimes our students fail in therapy. They share a wrong answer, say the wrong thing or don’t get the right placement for their speech sound. When this happens, you can remind them that when they fail, it is okay! You just have to try again.
4. I Gotta Feeling by The Black Eyed Peas
To get a positive mood flowing in your speech room, you can sing “I gotta feeling, that today’s gonna be a good, good day.”
5. Emotions by Mariah Carey
Whenever you are feeling an “Emotion” about your students, you can bust out “You got me feeling emotions.” Or you can sing this right before you play “emotion charades” lol.
6. Try by Pink
Sing this song to your students when you need to encourage them to try, even when it is tough! “You gotta get up and try, try, try.”
7. This Is How We Do It by Montell Jordan
Anytime you are teaching a new skill or reviewing the behavioral expectations, you can start it out with “This is how we do”!
8. Say by John Mayer
To encourage your students to use their words, express themselves or to share their opinions or feelings, you can sing a little John Mayer to them. “Say what you need to say. Say what you need to say.”
9. I Want To Hold Your Hand by The Beatles
When you need to hold your students hands on the way to speech, you can sing “I want to hold your hand.” as you lock hands. I always have a few students that NEED to be holding hands or else they may wander off.
10. Somethin’ Bad by Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert
This might be a song you sing in your head. Our SLP intuition is pretty strong. We know when a behavior is about to escalate or when your best laid plans are going to crumble. When you feel like “somethin’ bad about happen”, just hum this song in your head or out loud.
What songs would you sing at work to your speech students?
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.
Host an SLP trivia event at your next staff meeting or set it up for people to do this in the staff lounge. This is a FREE trivia game from Teach Speech 365.
The lunch room is the best place to bring awareness about what SLPs do! Print these free SLP poems from Creative Speech Lab and put them in $1 store picture frames. Place them on the lunch tables for teachers and staff to read while they are eating lunch.
Better Hearing and Speech Month FREEBIE: Speech & Language Teacher Handout By Speech Language Pirates is perfect for giving to teachers and families to explain an SLPs role in speech and language development.
Candy speaks to every teacher’s heart! Use this FREE SLP facts sheet from Let’s Talk Speech Therapy and add a chewy candy treat.
Teachers talk all day (so do SLPs lol). It is great to draw awareness about voice disorder and vocal hygiene to teachers. Print these free vocal hygiene cards and place them in the teachers boxes from A Tempo Voice Center.
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.
SLPs during the first week of school can be, well…..interesting. We have to be flexible those first couple of weeks back because things just change at a moment’s notice. Who am I kidding!? We have to be flexible ALL. YEAR. LONG. Although, that first week of school can be increasingly difficult to be flexible when transitioning back to managing a caseload. For some of you, a GIANT caseload.
There are many emotions an SLP goes through during the first week of school. I thought, “What person could express those SLP emotions than Tom Cruise?”. Some of my favorite movies from him are Jerry McGuire, A Few Good Men, Far and Away and Minority report.
SLPs During The First Week Of School
It is always a little more fun to talk about the successes and challenges we face in the speech world through a movie clip!
1.When an SLP finishes their speech schedule for the year, it’s celebration time (at least until the next schedule change.)
2. Being told that you have to move all your stuff to a new room because they needed your space for something more important like a lab, or storage for curriculum or who knows what else.
3. Trying to convince the teachers to let you take their kids at a certain day or time for speech services.
4. The SLP is trying to find out how LARGE their caseload will be this year.
5. The SLP trying to find someone who will listen to them about needing supplies, tests, resources, trainings, etc.
6. The SLP trying to explain to their middle school students that you are there to help them improve their speech and language skills.
7. When your morning coffee completes you, so you can do your job proficiently that first month back.
8. Reminding your students that you are back and they have speech services.
9. When an SLP is on their 8th draft of their speech schedule, and a teacher or admin wants to change the schedule.
10. Making the rounds to all the teachers to share their student’s speech and language goals for the year.
Well, there you have it. Thank you, Tom Cruise, for helping me explain the life of a busy SLP to those that get it. What other emotions, successes, and challenges do you face during the first week back to school as an SLP?