This time of the school year, we are up to our necks in IEP meetings, progress reports, data collections and lesson plans. We SLPs are powered by strong coffee in the morning and sugary treats stashed in desk drawers during the afternoon energy slump. The weeks will only go faster between now and the holidays! As someone who has been working in this field a long time (+20 years), I can forget how overwhelming this time of year can be for new grads and my fellow speechies who work from sun up to way past dark most days. This week is ending in a teacher work day and a Monday off for Columbus Day. Everyone is so looking forward to a little break to regroup!
Before we head out for the long weekend, I wanted to make an effort to let the people around me (in person and on email) know how much I appreciate them. I see their hard work, even if they think no one else does. Working with students with social language deficits has given me an appreciation of perspective and emotional reciprocity. Like I tell my students, I may be thinking about what a great job someone is doing, but if I don’t tell them, they won’t know! We tend to get bogged down in our own little worlds and forget that community and connection are just as important and energizing as coffee and chocolate (well, almost). It’s easy to point out what people are doing wrong and gripe about how unappreciated we feel. An attitude of gratitude is a little more work, but equally as contagious!
So here is my challenge to my fellow SLPs this week, talk to someone, send them an email or *gasp* a hand written note to let them know that you noticed all that they do and that you appreciate them. It’s such as simple gesture, but so powerful! I have a cork board at home that I pin notes from parents, students and co-workers to remind myself on the bad days that what I do makes a difference. It’s like sunshine to a flower, we flourish with an attitude of gratitude!
How do you encourage others?