Do you have wonderful summer plans? Several of us shared here, how we rejuvenate during the summer months. Psst… I have a confession. You will not see my plans in that list. It isn’t because I am not planning on enjoying some summer time fun. I plan to do that too. However, one of the ways I refresh my mind and therapy approach is preparing for the next school year. I find that having a plan in place for the next year provides me hope, inspiration, and a feeling of newness and a fresh start. It also provides me the opportunity to close the door to the prior school year. I think that is why I love the beginning of the school year and the end of the school year (or I am just plain old sick and have a serious issue with organization). I have also noticed that by doing this right after the school year is up allows me to wind down and prepare my environment so that I can later just enjoy some time without thinking about therapy at all. Therefore, I have some tips on what I do to revitalize myself and the upcoming year of therapy!
CLEAN HOUSE: I am a therapy materials hoarder. However, I try really hard to keep the chaos under wraps. By the end of the year, I find that I have therapy materials littered throughout my house and piling up in my garage. Therefore, during summer time, I clean the house and locate all the pieces that are scattered about. For example, after having used one of my thematic units in therapy, I might have pulled just parts of it to use as a review in later months. Now those pieces are separated from the main unit and if I do not put them in their proper place, I will have half made units about. Or worse, I may stumble upon the disarray later in the summer when I am enjoying my downtime and feel the need to think about work during my “no work” activity time.
RECYCLE: I also take the time to go through my boxes in the garage. I organize. If it is something that I have not used in a few years or I do not think I will use with my upcoming caseload, I toss it out or give it to Goodwill in hopes that another SLP somewhere will find it. This is also when I take all those little pieces and put sets back together again and attempt to put the leaning tower or boxes in some sort of order.
ORGANIZE: If I know my future caseload or have an idea of what I plan to use, I will start the old printer and laminator up. The more therapy materials that I can get finished and put away in preparation for the following year, the better! It means less late night rushes to have it ready. It also allows me to reflect on what went right this past year and what I want to change for the next. That let down from one school year to the next provides me with a newness and fresh start feeling.
Only after I have completed this wrap up for the end of year am I ready to close the door on one school year and fully enjoy the summer time fun that I have planned. One year I tried jumping straight to Summer and found that I was thinking more about the following year than if I had just spent the initial week off cleaning, recycling, and organizing. Do you have an end of school year routine to help me wind down and rejuvenate?
Now, I am ready for Summer! Are you?