Did you catch the round-up of Words SLPs Should NEVER Say? Here's the sequel!
 The Frenzied SLPs
The Frenzied SLPs are giving SLPs some words to say - not that we need any. SLPs are in the business of communication. I don't have any specific words for you. I DO have some tips that MAY have been learned through several life experiences, so keep reading.
1) Start out positive. With anyone - students, school staff, parents, everyone. This week starts the rush of the end of spring break through the end of school for me. It's hurried. It's stressful. Within these weeks are state testing and planning for next year on top of the "usual" stuff. It's easy to focus on what I have to do in what seems a short time.

Giving a positive start helps ease the concerns of staff and parents. It's not unusual for a teacher to come tell me, "Johnny/Mary is hard to understand. I didn't tell you because I think it's developmental, but I don't want next year's teacher thinking I didn't do anything!" I have two options for a response. A) "Why didn't you tell me sooner! Do you know how timelines work at the end of the year? Always check developmental with me!!!!" B) "Thank you for noticing possible concerns. Tell me more." Answer B gets in thankfulness, praise for noticing, and a calmness, at least on the surface.

At IEPs, parents can be anxious about facing a whole table of school staff. Giving a positive statement about the child and then sharing concerns can help get everyone on the same page. Starting out the meeting with, "Mary is not progressing. We want to retain her. It's the best decision. I'm sure you agree. We have lots of meetings, so just sign here" is probably not the best way to establish rapport. No matter how much is on my plate, I have to remember that this meeting is for this parent's child and think about myself on the other side. Even if parents start out with, "We are so worried/frustrated/mad about...", I prompt myself to start out with, "Mary is so delightful/funny/cooperative/loving...". That eases the tension and helps everyone focus on the student.

2) Go back to the start. When I attend spring meetings - either staffings or IEPs - it's easy for the first statements to be along the lines of, "This kiddo isn't making it!" and then move to options for retention, additional testing, more interventions, etc. These are options that need to be explored. I like to go back to where the student started, current skills, and what the plan will be. Going back to the start either confirms some progress (sometimes very slow), no progress, or regression. The meaning of "IEP" may be discussed.

3) Say nothing. Sometimes, listening is powerful. Sometimes, teachers or parents just want to share their journey.

4) Tone. Oh my, tone is so important. Especially at this time of the year, the words may be right while the tone is panicked, angry, frustrated, sarcastic, etc. School staff is held to a higher standard than students and parents. Am I okay with my words and tone being recorded? If no, I have to rephrase or keep quiet.

As we go into the final quarter of the school year, my key words are "positive" and "tone". Find out what other SLPs are saying by clicking on the links below. SLP bloggers, we would love for you to link up! Use the image at the top of this post as your first image and let us know what you always say!

I can't even begin to describe what the Teacher Blogger Retreat means to me. This is the second year that Amy and I have attended this wonderful weekend. Not only do we get to meet AMAZING educators and bloggers, we also get to see some of our best friends! 

On Friday, my cousin and I hopped on a plane at 5:30 in the morning to head to Nashville. Let me just say, getting up at 3:30 is ROUGH! I am not a morning person at all and there was lots of Diet Dr Pepper involved. We arrived around 9:00 at Nashville to be greeted by Greg from The Kindergarten Smorgasboard and Dana from Common to the Core! After lots of hugs and laughs, we got in the Smorgie Mobile and headed towards French Lick, Indiana. BEST ROAD TRIP EVER!!!

When we arrived, we were greeted by the rest of our TRIBE! The rest of our tribe includes Tracy, Michelle from Journey into TK, Chad from Male Kindergarten Teacher,  and Stacy from Simpson's Superstars! Words can't express how wonderful these people are and how special they are to us. We had a fabulous evening filled with great conversation and laughter.....lots and lots of laughter. 

The next morning, we made our way to the retreat. Y'all, Holly Ehle is phenomenal! I don't know how she put together everything and still had enough energy to run a fabulous retreat! Throughout the day, we heard wonderful speakers and gathered a TON of new ideas. Not to mention, we watched a very inspiring montage of teachers talking about how much they love the retreat! It was really such a tribute to Holly's hard work. 

We ended a perfect day by having an 80's party! Let me just say, it's not everyday that you get to walk through the dome of West Baden with a guy wearing LED shoes and another one dressed as Richard Simmons! The black tie event and the jazz listeners didn't know what to think of us! Once we got to the 80's night, we had a fabulous night of laughing, dancing and taking TONS of pictures in the photo booth provided by GoNoodle! We also surprised everyone with a flash mob! Amanda Pauley did an amazing job of choreographing the dance!

On Sunday morning, we met everyone for breakfast at the hotel and said our goodbyes. Leaving everyone was very bittersweet, but we had a phenomenal weekend and made tons of new memories.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! 

This weekend wouldn't have been possible without the fabulous sponsors that love teachers! Words can't express how thankful we are for your kindness! And I just have to say "Thank you" again to  Holly! I left the weekend revived and inspired. This time of year, it's not always easy to maintain your highest level of passion. This weekend helped me reignite my passion. :) 

The following sponsors LOVE to support educators!

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Head on over to the linky party so you can read about everyone's experiences!
An InLinkz Link-up

I know not everyone was able to make it to Indiana, so we are bringing a little bit of the retreat to you! Don't forget to sign up for our giveaway! 
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