Monday, August 26, 2013

When the going gets tough....

I love my job... Most of the time. Many of us feel the same way, but what do you do when you are overwhelmed, especially with a new job, and you can't even stomach the thought of going in to work the next morning?

Here are some tips I have tried for when the going got tough.

1. Fake it. Plaster a smile on your face. At some point, that fake smile will turn into a real smile.

2. Take some time for yourself. Please schedule time for prep and lunch, most districts have it in your contract - take advantage of it. Close the door, put on your favorite relaxing music, take a chocolate break, whatever you need to get yourself through the next part of your day.

3. Focus on what you want out of your job, not how much you need to escape it. We all are in this field because we care about people, and want to help them live their lives to the best of their abilities. If administrators are driving you crazy or teachers feel they know more about your job than you, focus on why you are there and what you are doing. What was your goal in taking the position? Remember the positives, the smiles from your students, their successes, progress you see, no matter how small.

4. Learn more. If you think you are unqualified to treat some of your students, find a continuing education class in the area(s) in which you lack knowledge. Speechpathology.com is $99 a year and offers a plethora of courses to assist in developing your skills. Meet with colleagues or other SLPs in your district or community who can give you some insight into working with a particular disability or area in which you are inexperienced, such as AAC, apraxia, etc.... Seasoned therapists can be great resources.

5. Something I had to learn two years ago-wear your protective armor when you enter your workplace. Some people, administrators, coworkers, and parents thrive in seeng others' insecurities. This all goes back to number 1, fake it til you make it, smile even though you may want to cry. I wear my heart on my sleeve and when I had an issue at work that blew up, I spent a year learning relaxation techniques, and other ways to just get through each day. I thrived that year, and exceeded even my expectations.

We are not perfect, we don't know everything about our complex, but rewarding, profession. Ask for help, vent in appropriate places, and go in every day knowing that you make a difference in the lives of your students!

22 comments:

  1. Great post, Jessica. I'm feeling that way right now!

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    1. Thanks Nicole! I hope things get better soon...

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  2. Thanks for this timely and important post. We all need to make sure that we look cheerful and confident: AKA Faking it at times. It is true that if you can achieve this, it will become a natural part of what you do and how you are perceived. I agree totally with scheduling time during the work day for winding down. It makes us more productive in the end.

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    1. I definitely had to learn that. So important!

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  3. Great post Jess! I think we all need these reminders at times!

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    1. Yes we do! Heading back next week, I don't want to go!! But I will put a smile on my face! ;-)

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  4. Wonderful advice! For those who haven't already felt like this, remember this advice because at some point, you will!
    http://oldschoolspeech.blogspot.com

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  5. Did you write this for me? Thanks friend!!

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  6. Love this. Every now and then we need to be reminded no matter how long you have been in the field. Thanks!!

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    1. You're welcome! I agree, 18 years and still need practice with some of these....

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  7. Lunch?? Planning?? ha ha ha ha! Seriously, I eat lunch at my desk and do paperwork whilst eating. Three days out of five, that 30 minute lunch is my only respite until dismissal.

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    1. Deidre, I do the same most of the time, but when I am having a difficult day, I close the door, and make sure that I have some time to myself.

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  8. Love it! Thanks for this! :)

    Lauren

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  9. I needed to hear this right now! My caseload just went up to 80 as students keep moving into our district. I have never had a caseload that high!! It's hard to let the worries go and face each day one at a time.

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  10. YES! I definitely have days like this. Last year was a pretty rotten year, actually! I especially love #3 and #5. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Abby
    Schoolhouse Talk!

    P.S. Are you on twitter? I was going to tweet this post and mention you in it.

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  11. Thanks Abby! Yes, but I don't use it a lot. Jess_schulman.

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