30 Pieces of Advice for New SLPs

  1. Great post! After many years as an SLP, I could relate to every one of the comments. But my most valuable lesson as a new SLP didn’t happen until my third year (oh, dear!), but it has mattered every year since! And that was to actually take the time to observe without feeling any ‘responsibility’ to *do* anything about what I observed. I actually had to take a day off from my school job to feel that elusive lack of responsibility — but what I learned from observing my kids in their natural school settings has stayed with me for all the years since (nearly 40 years — yikes!) Anyway, now I ask families to take movies of their kids in their natural home environments so I can watch them without feeling any responsibility to make things better. I am *just* observing — and learning so much!

  2. Mary says:

    Excellent advice…all of them! One more thing I would add: Don’t take things personally, especially things that are said during an IEP Meeting by parents. Remember that they want the best for their child!

  3. Kathy Burnett says:

    Great advice Shannon! I copied this and will give to my 2 new CFs for this coming school year. Thanks so much!

  4. Kathi Ray says:

    Wonderful advice! I too will share these with my CF this September!

  5. Beth Qualley says:

    Like everyone else has shared..Great advice!!! I have been practicing since 1985 and my job in the schools changes every year. I have been traveling between buildings for the last 19 years…different buildings. There have been years I have done preschool, Elementary and Midddle school all at the same time. My mini van (plus my three kids ) was a mess!! I have to say, I like traveling. It keeps me on my toes but it is tough. I think my biggest piece of advice is to have a thick skin. Most parents are extremely appreciative and happy with the work you do with their children. i got beautiful notes and very generous gifts at the end of this school year. That being said, I also cried for the first time in about 15 years. There is one family I work with that will NEVER be happy…no matter what I do. It is still hard to take. BUT…..my friends and colleagues are there to encourage and support me. You can’t make everyone happy. It is always worth it.

  6. Susan says:

    New SLPs working in the schools need to stand up for themselves especially when it comes to the CSTs. They will try to tell a SLP how to do their job. Be firm and respectful. Remember, you will work with the CST all year. Less frustration and stress will go along way and your first year will be great!

  7. […] “30 Pieces of Advice for the New SLP” on Speechy Musings  […]

  8. Kelly Landaal says:

    One of the most relevant pieces of advice my school supervisor said to me has stuck with me throughout these past nine years of practice. “You work to live. You don’t live to work.” I find myself going back to that mantra every few months.


  9. Sarah Lea says:

    I totally agree about keeping up your skills across the different areas. I have gone from school based, private practice with an AAC focus, SNF, and home health. Having skills in all of these areas makes me an invaluable team member in each area I work. I completely recommend it!

  10. […] for more advice for new SLPS? Check out this post containing 30 pieces of advice from SLPs all […]

  11. Megan says:

    This is my 5th year working in the schools. I am still learning. One tip I’d give is try to keep up on being organized. I have so many materials I’ve accumulated over the years, but I have 2 filing drawers that are a complete mess! So it’s hard to use what you don’t know you have. And of course, there’s always something else that’s more pressing to do before I can get to them. 🙂

  12. […] article from Speechy Musings is a great resource to find advice from a varied group of SLPs who are […]

  13. As an upcoming grad and beginning my first “big girl job” as a school SLP in just a couple weeks, this was EXACTLY what I needed to hear. THANK YOU!!

  14. Avalon Marciniak says:

    I’ve just completed my first 3 days as a CF. All I can say is that I am overwhelmed and exhilarated! I LOVE my CF supervisor. She has helped me identify what I need to focus on first. There is so much. I think the most stressful part right now is scheduling. This post has definitely helped calm my nerves and readjust my thinking. I will stay positive and take it day by day! Thank you for sharing.

  15. Asma Fatimah says:

    I just finish my study and I feel so nervous to start working as SLP. I’m afraid that I’m not good enough, I’m afraid to start a new thing and all the ‘sounds’ are there. This article really mean indeed.

    Thank you
    Best wishes,

  16. Janid says:

    Thank you for this. I really need it. I have been a special ed. teacher for the last 15 years and now im a slp grad student and i have being feeling overwhelm about if i will do good in my practice. Thank you for yout words

  17. All the information that you shared with us is very useful for us. Thank you for sharing with us.

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