OH boy, September is intense for us school-ish folks! Lots of meetings and organizing (and re-organizing!) caseloads, and figuring out which cute little mini-student matches up to a name on the list.
For me, it has been such a welcome breath of fresh air! It reminds me what I love about my career and that makes me oh.so.happy! (clap along...if you feel like a room without a roof...because I'm happy.... - sorry if you didn't want that great song in your head for the rest of the day!)
My primary contract this fall is with preschool and kindergarten kids in a school division that believes really strongly in the value of play for kids. I found the evidence in this video we watched on Monday to be quite compelling.
I think lots of us like to say that we value play...at least in theory. Or maybe when it occupies our kids so we can make supper or check facebook, if I'm being really honest! But many of us adults have kind of forgotten how to play - it's a good thing that it often comes naturally for kids, so we can follow their lead and let them decide how it's going to be, and that is good for both the adult and the child! It can be kind of overwhelming at first to let go of our own agenda and just play with kids. (thoughts coming through our minds might be something like...shouldn't we TEACH them? how will we know what they have learned? Where are the rules? ha!). It has been really rewarding for me as a mom to watch my children's imaginations blossom and to watch them love playing together.
As an SLP, it is a shift in thinking to challenge myself so that I can address the speech and language goals of my students through following their lead in play in a classroom setting. It takes an open mind, and I am making an effort to really try it and find my way through it. I had a great time today...I played a lot! I drove cars and worked on several concept words and built rapport with two little girls, I played at a ship and worked on 'sh' with a slightly older boy with good language skills, and I did some puzzles with some boys who get frustrated easily. I also did a lot of collaborative 'cleaning up'. I don't know how it's going to look on a contact note yet, or how I will remember what to work on with each student, or whether I'll feel like I'm really doing my job. But I'm looking forward to trying this out, and it touches on concepts that resonate really deeply with me.
I'll keep you posted! But in the meantime, I will be playing with a purpose!