Off to a Good Start: A Personal Reflection and Checklist
How is your
school year going so far?
The past 2
years have been very challenging for me with regards to organization. Early in
2010, I switched jobs after returning from maternity leave. When I moved into
my current position in February, not only was it the middle of the school year,
but the caseload was hefty. I inherited a group of about 40 little ones.
Later that year in September and October, I was suffering with severe carpal
tunnel in my dominant hand, which significantly hindered my typing and writing
abilities. Most of last year I felt as though I was always a step or two
behind, trying to catch up on paperwork and therapy lesson planning.
say, as the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year approached, I made a promise
to myself that this year would be different! This year, I would be organized and
on top of my game. I have learned through years of experience that although it
is never too late to start fresh and create a new beginning, it is much easier
to simply begin on the right foot and move forward steadily right out of the
So, over the
last three weeks I have worked hard to lay a strong foundation for this school
year. Here is a checklist I created when school began and have slowly chipped
away so that now I am into therapy mode and things are moving along nicely:
- Create a
realistic schedule that works!
- Contact all
parents, especially new ones to introduce myself!
- Read over
all IEPs and write goals on my data sheets!
- Observe and
informally assess all the new children!
- Clean out
and put away folders of all the children who graduated!
- Create new
folders for all my new children!
- Consult with
colleagues -- talk with the teachers about their schedules, collaborate and coordinate
with other therapists -- OT and PT!
- Put time
aside each week for testing and report writing and drafting IEPs!
- Put time
aside each week to plan for upcoming therapy sessions!
or not, it is actually working! Taking the extra time to pay attention to
little details and really create an effective system that works for me and my
caseload, is making all the difference and helping this school year to look
over the next few weeks as I share some fun "apple" based lesson plans for 3-5
year olds. I have begun co-treating more with our OT and we have some dynamic
therapy sessions planned!