“You are like a horse that finally sees the barn….you speed up when the end is in sight!” Someone once told me this near the end of a 20+ mile bike ride. I was so happy to have the END in sight, I started pedaling like crazy. Anyone else like me?
How many days left in the school year? I think we have 16, but who’s counting! We all know the END of the year is coming. Doing the happy dance? Exhausted? Maybe a little of both. Not sure how you are going to finish assessments, progress notes, etc and, oh yeah, see your caseload, too? This is the end of my 31st year. Every end-of-the-year year seems a little different. How the year ends, depends a LOT on how the year has gone as a whole. Three categories come to mind:
The Year from You-Know-Where: Huge caseload, an overwhelming number of assessments and meetings, last minute referrals, etc. Code word: SURVIVAL. You will make it—if you take it one day at a time. Remember there are lots of last week activities that happen and you can use that time to finish up anything that does not have an imminent deadline. So, prioritize. If it does not have to be done now, then it can wait. Yes, I know most of us are “type A” personalities-git ‘er done-like NOW, but ask yourself, does it really have to be done right now? Or can it wait?
Not a Bad Year: Yes, you are overworked, even when the year has not been all that bad. Code word: COMPLETION. You know you will be crazy busy right up to the end, but you also know that you will be able to get everything done. Checklists are helpful. Those of you who follow me know I use Google calendar. There is a task list you can use that appears each time you open your calendar. That is where I type in the task and date by which it must be done. You can check off and delete each item as you complete them. Give it a try. It feels really great to check the box and then dump it in the trash can. Therapy for the SLP!
Great Year!: Guess what? This DOES happen. I’ve had a few. Code word: PLANNING. When you have a year that ends well, you might actually have some planning time. What to do with it? Get your data sheets ready for next year. Are you holding onto out-dated IEPs? Shred them. Are you staying in the same school(s) next year? Get some materials printed/copied for Back to School in the fall. You might even have some time for a little housekeeping and we all know a desk (or two or THREE) could use a quick clean-out.
Maybe you feel like you are plodding along right now, but soon you will be galloping out that door on the LAST DAY! We KNOW you can do it!
Wishing you a wonderful summer!