The SLP’s of Graduate School- Which Personality Are YOU?

slps of graduate schoolWhether you are in graduate school currently or you graduated 20 years ago, we all remember the peers we attended school with!  In some ways being apart of the SLP graduate program was much like a sorority/fraternity experience.  You had the same set of students along side you for 2-4 years!  I don’t know about you all, but when you spend time with people for long chuncks of time you begin to see parts of their personality exposed….think of this post as like the yearbook awards for SLP’s….in each set of graduate students, there certain people that embody special traits that make them unforgettable.  For those out in the field, let’s take a walk down memory lane….for those that are still IN graduate school, this just may be a validation that what you have been thinking about select peers in your class do exist!

The moocher– You are the student that manages to NEVER take notes or read the chapters for homework, but always manages to get A’s on the test because you finagled a way to get the notes from others.  You never reciprocate and almost bank on the fact that SOMEONE will hook you up with what you need to study for on the test. Guess what!? People notice your behavior and we always want to help, but please…make sure you pay it forward.  No one’s gonna write your IEP’s for you, so you better start taking responsibility!

The Front Seat Lurker– This is the student who is ALWAYS in the front seat for EVERY. SINGLE. CLASS. Do you think you will take better notes if you are in the front row? My advice, try sitting in the 2nd or 3rd row every other class.  It’s healthy to blend in every once in a while.

The Know-It-All– We get it!  You were out in the field working as an aide at a school and now know all those fancy terms that we will soon learn and master!  You just have 6 months on us!  This could also be the student that was the smartest kid in his/her class (probably in GATE, gifted and talented education), who later went on to attend 8 years of college at a prestigious college. After becoming having a very promising career as lawyer, they decide to go BACK to school to find a new work path. So, here they are, spending another 4 years in school to pursue a degree in speech pathology all the while torturing us in class by randomly sharing out facts and tidbits from the chapter that they read the night before.

Miss 20 questions- (this is never a guy… even if there is a guy in your program, he is completely preoccupied with trying to multitask…that is actively listening to the lecture WHILE taking notes)…GIRL, we all have things we are confused about and eager to ponder, but we just want to get finished with class on time.  There are PLENTY of questions to ask your admin once you are out in the schools because you will NEVER get the same answer twice. You know that curriculum Social Thinking?  Well, when you ask MORE than 5 questions during a class lecture, 80% or more of your peers are thinking “annoying” thoughts about you. Just sayin’…….

The Triple Threat– You all know her well.  No, she isn’t the front seat lurker, know it all and miss 20 questions wrapped into one!  That is a WHOLE different kind of triple threat. She is the amazing therapist that all the professors use as examples in their lectures, has straight A’s and writes flawless reports.  She has all her homework done a week ahead of time and all the professors love her!  You can’t even hate her because she is the most genuine person that truly has a heart for serving people.

The Mother Hen-This is the student who decided to go back to school after being a homemaker for her children or was working in a different field.  These are the students that know all the developmental milestones and can relate to clients because they learned how to interact with kids after raising their own.  You always wondered how they have time to study because they had a family and/or job when you barely had time to turn in your latest assignment.

The Procrastinator– You are the one that is frantically typing out your S.O.A.P. notes 15 minutes before your client arrives. You cram for every test with all nighters, finish reports hours before they are due and get whatever is left in the “clinic” therapy materials room because all the “triple threats” reserved all the good toys a week a head of time.

Material Girl– This is the chick that has a closet FULL of games and fun materials that she just “collected” along the way during undergraduate classes, so she was prepared.  She’s the one that asked her family for a cricut, binder maker, laminator and God knows what else for Christmas and birthdays, so she has enough supplies when is “out in the field”. Did you know that schools have supplies on site like dicuts, laminators, paper cutters, photo copiers and MUCH more.  Currently, she is your friend with a TPT store and/or the one with the MOST TPT products ever!

The Brown Noser– if you want to make the professor brownies on her birthday and visit all the professors during their office hours to try to find out what will be on the tests, and make them like you more, be my guest! I ain’t got time for dat!

The Token Male– We are all questioning if he got in the program because of skills and grades or because he is the ONLY male in the program and the college needs to show that there is diversity in the work place. We either think he is a slacker or want to be in his clique because he brings a sense of calm when surrounded by so much estrogen……..Hmmmmm?

The Back Seat DriverThe backseat drivers are the SLP’s who choose not to engage in all the drama and sit in the back of class. They have a tendency to think outside of the box and achieve in ways not measured in class. These are the students that have tremendous talent, but may get overlooked in the program. Don’t worry you kick butt out in the field!

The worry wart– I know lots of SLP’s that get anxious and worry…I think it is a natural thing because we want to do a good job in grad school!  The worry wart is the student who is stressing about EVERYTHING.  She spends the week fretting about if she got a 92% verses a 95% on latest exam.  While festering about her grades, she is computing all the points she has to get to get an A rather than an A- because an A- would ruin her GPA.

The Data Queen– This student probably was an ABA consultant before she decided to become an SLP or have serious type-A tendencies.  She/He has data forms and charts for just about everything.  This student can tell you how long the child’s attention span is, how well the child did when given a verbal and visual prompt and if they faded or added more prompts.  They have 9 different objectives per therapy session and data for all of them.  Have you ever heard of something called clinical judgement?  Try keeping that practice up when you have caseload of 60.  I wish you great success!

All in all, here’s the deal….I was having a little fun “labeling” you all, but let me tell you this!  Without all those unique personalities, I would never have discovered WHO I was as a clinician.  Miss 20 questions made me more comfortable with asking questions when I didn’t know the answer, the moocher reminded me that it is okay to ask for help, the front seat lurker always kept me on my toes, the triple threat inspired me to be a better clinician, the brown noser taught me to advocate for myself, and the token male helped me remember to just BE me. The mother hen taught me to look at the whole person when working with clients and the data queen instilled the importance of good data to help measure progress. The know-it-all taught me all the important facts and best practices for our field. If you embraced their smarts, they can be the best friends!

If you are still in graduate school, let me encourage you by sharing this…..once you graduate, the stress of being THE BEST SLP in your class dissipates. All your peers are on the same playing field.  You are colleagues! You will begin to realize how you miss them and wish for some of those times back. So, instead of being jealous, annoyed, weirded out or whatever, embrace the future clinicians in your group!  Some of my best friends came from my graduate program and they are people I don’t know if I would have had as close friends otherwise.

Which personality are you?  Better yet, can you guess which personality I was in graduate school?

The dabbling speechie (9337)


Monday’s Motto- When I am overwhelmed

heart overwhlemed lord

I am back with a new Monday’s Motto that will hopefully help ya get through the week.  To be frank, I am overwhelmed.

Transition knocked on my door yet again, and I moved from the middle school setting to two elementary sites this year.

Although, elementary students are my “comfort and joy”, joining a new staff, with new students and new procedures is overwhelming. I have been out in the field for 8 1/2 years, but every time I start a “new” assignment, I feel like that newbie SLP with a continuous thought running in my head, “I wonder if Starbuck’s would hire me again?”

The main overwhelming roadblock this year is scheduling all of my new students without knowing them! That and being flooded with emails at the beginning of the year with new referrals and additions to my caseload.  Oh ya, did I mention all those trainings and staff meetings that I had to attend before school started (precious time away from scheduling the caseload). Oh right, I forgot about the list of students whose IEP’s need to be held by the end of August (better get on scheduling those).  Did I mention that the speech therapist covering thet site last year, left mid year? Clean up on aisle 3 please!

Then, when I actually had some time to myself , I looked at the master schedule and realized I am going to have to work around 6 different instructional schedules (did I mention core academics are off the table?).

Let’s not even discuss the angst I am feeling about transitioning back to those 5:30am wake up calls 5 days a week! And these are just elements I face at work! Life in general is filled with transition and when both worlds collide, it can suck the joy right out of me!!

When I am not ready for those bumps in the road, life becomes one big, giant traffic jam, bringing me to a dead stop!

If you are just starting out as a CF SLP, an SLP coming back after staying home with children for many years or you are moving to a new age group or site, you are probably OVERWHELMED just like me!

When I become too overwhelmed many fun behaviors emerge within me:

  1. I yell at my own children more.
  2. I am critical and moody with my husband.
  3. I allow self reliance to interfere with letting others help me during hard times.
  4. I want to share about all the ways people have done me wrong.
  5. I feel like God is forgetting me and lose sight of the blessings he has poured into my life.
  6. Should I go on because there more?

Don’t worry folks, God has been working on me this year lol, so crazy woman doesn’t stay long.  I have been building strategies into my life to help reduce these unwanted behaviors.  When times are tough, I remember that the LORD has my back.  He will help carry the burdens and I don’t have to hold on to those things alone.

God has been showing me to make a workout schedule, so I can make sure to keep my energy levels up (I need extra energy for my own family).

God has been teaching me to rest.  At the end of the work day, it is okay to STOP working mid task and finish it up in the morning when my mind and body are fresh again. My husband is the best at letting me have 20 minutes of alone time if I have told him my day was super overwhelming.

God has been reminding to pray and confess when things are tough.  Just letting God know my situation and asking for his help brings down my stress. I think it helps me remember that I am human and not perfect.

God has been teaching me to let go of control. When too many things start changing in my routine or when I feel I have lots of expectations that I know I can’t meet in a timely manner, I get a little twitchy.  Not in the neat freak, OCD sort of way, but one of the mentioned behaviors above will start letting lose. God is in control of my life.  I forget that when I am overwhelmed!

Guess what ladies and gents!  My speech schedule is completed (rough draft version, you know how that goes) and I started seeing students.  On Friday, I was able to finalize scheduling some IEP’s and testing a couple of students.  I also had time to organize my materials and get some bulletin boards up.  I even made it to 2 workout classes this week. When I finished work, I took my kids to the park a couple of times and we spent time together before bed (I left the kitchen mess). Is everything pinterest perfect in my speech sites yet?  Heck no! Did my students leave with smiles on their faces? Heck yes they did…..because my spirit was focused on God and loving on my new students.

Now……time to armor up and do it all again this week. It’s a battle! I know in a couple of months I will adjust to all the new changes and things will flow more evenly.

My prayer this week is that I will look the LORD when I am overwhelmed. I pray that for all of you as well!  When our hearts become overwhelmed, may we be led to THE ROCK that is higher than us. (330)


3 Ways I Use My Interactive Articulation Flip Books & a SURPRISE!

three ways flip books

This summer I finished the rest of my interactive articulation flip books! It took a really long time, but I am excited to have a full stash ready to be used with my new students.  This year I will have Preschool-5th grade, so no more middle school students for the time being.  Excited for more hugs and wiggles, but will miss the fist bumps and hot cheeto runs to the store lol.

top 3-5 pic

Last week during the Back To School Sale on TPT, my interactive articulation flip book BUNDLE ranked in the top 100 products for the week in the 3-5 grades. Can I just say, I was so honored and humbled that so many SLP’s are buying and loving my flip books. You made my week! Since many of you are enjoying these flip books, I wanted to share a few ways that I use them with my students (make sure to read all the way down for the surprise).

interactive articulation flip books auditory bombardmentFor my students with phonological processes, I use my word lists to do auditory bombardment at the beginning of the session.  The student can check off the words as I say them, or I just read words off the list (mommy brain makes it hard to think of words off the top of my head).

articulation flip books ways I use I use these books as independent work while I am having another student drill or when I need to take baseline data/progressing monitoring for goals.  My kindergarten students were quiet and engaged while I moved around the group.  It was amazing!!!  They feel so grown up with the dry erase markers! One teacher asked how she could support speech practice in the classroom, so I gave her a book to have the student use it during literacy centers because many of the activities include a spelling component.

flip books ways I use themI use the phrases and picture scenes to work on generalizing the student’s articulation skills beyond the word level.  If I have a mixed group, I will also use my flip books to work on building MLU and use the stimulus pictures to target vocabulary and grammar goals.

Now for my surprise!! I wanted to find a way to show my love and support for everyone that shops my store and continues to come back.  It means a lot of me!  Furthermore, many of you filled out my getting to know my followers form . I appreciate all of you that took the time to give me feedback for topics and resources you need as an SLP, it was very helpful.  You can still fill out the survey if you haven’t already!
interactive articulation flip book for /l/Sooooo, I decided that my newest Interactive Articulation Flip Book for /L/ would be available in my store as a FREE resource for all my faithful followers and all the new followers to come.  This is a great way to try out my flip books with your students to see if you want to add more of my flip books to your stash!

How have you been utilizing my interactive articulation flip books in your therapy rooms?  I would love to hear about your creative ideas!!  Hope you have a great start to the year and that your summer was refreshing and relaxing.

The dabbling speechie (1393)


My Favorite Office Supplies For My Speech Room

favorite office supplies

Do you have favorite office supplies for your speech room? When I find office supplies that I really like, I want to tell everyone!!  Personally, I don’t really LIKE spending money on office supplies, but it is a necessary evil. I would much rather spend that money on clothes or entertainment! Some of my favorite office supplies for my speech room are the ones that eliminate clutter and add purpose to my speech room. Today, I wanted to share some of my favorite office supplies that I use in my speech room that have helped made my job easier. (amazon affiliate links are provided for your convenience). Now, in no particular order…………..

my favorite office suppliesHanging pocket charts!  These are perfect for storing artic sheets. I printed these FREE sound sheets, laminated them and put them all together with a binder ring.  It includes stimulus words for each sound by word, sentence and story.  Great for grab n’ go therapy!

my favorite office suppliesThese magnetic hooks rock!!  I put them on my dry erase board or on the side of a metal cabinet!  Easy to see storage for those activities that you store on a key ring. I store my interactive articulation flip books on these magnetic hooks along with frequently used visuals!

favorite office supplies tins I love grabbing some of those cute bucket tins from the Target Dollar Spot.  They are perfect for storing pencils, bingo chips or little odds and ends.

my favorite office suppliesThese dry erase pouches are the best invention ever! I used these things daily with my middle school students.  They loved the dry erase markers and it freed up prep time because I didn’t have to make too many copies of worksheets!

office supply for speech roomMy scotch laminator has been a great addition to my speech room. When I bought this laminator on amazon it was only $20 and now has gone up to $33, which is still an amazing deal!  I buy laminating pouches on amazon because they are a little cheaper and still work great!

favorite office supplies metal tinsLast year, I found these awesome metal tins at IKEA in the garden section.  They are super sturdy and the perfect size to hold all my social skill breaks activities.  It adds functional decor to my room and helps me to remember to use them with my social skill kiddos!

favorite office supplies paper cutterMy husband convinced me to get a paper cutter when I was prepping all of my interactive articulation flip books this summer.  Smartest idea!  I know I have access to a paper cutter at school, but now I can store this at home or in my speech room for easy access.  I bought mine at Staples, but Swingline has the same paper cutter on amazon for a great deal!

favorite office supplies file foldersI love finding expandable file folders at the Target Dollar Spot or the Dollar Store.  They are a great way to store many similar themed activities in one spot. So, if you are planning a “back to school theme”, you can store different worksheets, task cards, etc. in the different files.  You can also find expandable file folders on amazon!

my favorite office supplies binder ringsBinder rings are my favorite for keeping all my print n’ go flashcards together!  I use them also to keep frequently used visuals all in one spot, so I can easily grab when I need them instead of trying to find them (if I pack it away, I may forget where I put it)!

favorite office supplies  pencil holdersLastly, I love using pencil holders to store game pieces and reinforcement materials.  They are easy to stack and keep little pieces from getting lost.

What are your favorite office supplies for your speech room?  I love anything that helps create a place for all my therapy stuff!!

The dabbling speechie (2925)


Spot It Game- Numbers & Shapes Olaf Edition- 5 Ways I Use This Game In Therapy

spot it summer cover pic

Do your students LOVE Frozen? Are you a traveling SLP? If you said yes to these questions, then you need to grab the latest Spot It Game because it has my favorite character, Olaf! Blue Orange Games  makes wonderful games that I love using in therapy with my students. Today, I wanted to show you some ways that you can use this spot it game in therapy! Spot It is a great game on it’s own as there are three different ways to play.  One of my favorite features of these games is that they can easily fit in your purse or bag for easy transport from school to school.

Grab this game on on Amazon (affiliate link included for your convenience) or on Blue Orange Game’s website.

spot it summer basic conceptsUse the game cards to target basic concepts in directions such as before, after, above, below.  For example, have your student “touch the suntan lotion before he/she touches the star.”

spot it summer social skillsYou can use this game in your social skill groups to work on expected vs. unexpected behaviors for winning/losing, complimenting the winner, identifying the size of the problem, whole body listening and regulating emotions during the game.


spot it summer languageThe stimulus cards have great pictures to work on building vocabulary while talking about the items attributes.  Receptively, you can lay out 5-10 cards and say find something that is “round”.  Students look through the cards and when they find something, they can yell “spot it” or slap with their hand.  They can keep the card that they find!  This is also great to use with a beach/summer theme.

spot it summer incentives

I love that this game goes quick, so it is the perfect game for incentives and rewards!  If my articulation students work really hard for most of the session, I will allow 5 minutes at the end of the session to play Spot it.  We just play, no drill happens during that time if they did all their work.  It’s too complicated trying to fit in practice with this fast paced game!

spot it summer compound sentencesUse the cards to have students create compound and complex sentences with conjunctions, adjectives and prepositional phrases.  Make it a challenge to see if they can include at least three of the images on a card such as “The honey bee buzzed around the orange umbrella.”


How do you use Spot it in your therapy room?  Blue Orange Games is generously giving away a Spot It Frozen Edition game!!!  Super excited.  Enter below to win!

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