Teachers, on behalf of SLPs everywhere, I apologise. I apologise for adding more work to your already hectic schedule. But there is something that you should know. We love our kids and we only want the best. We scramble to find some way, any way, for our kids to say their sounds asap! We don’t get much time, but you do. And so we ask you to help work on speech sounds at school because we’re desperate.
For SLPs, this might be your biggest challenge. Whether you work in a school or not, you can always try – no, strive, to get some extra practice in. So here’s some ideas how:
Decorate that desk! It is so easy to get an extra bit of practice in when there is a visual reminder on your desk. Think the letter itself, a visual of someone speaking, a mini word list. I’m sure you can think of more, but the point is that if the teacher is ever walking around the classroom and sees these reminders, then they can be prompted to get at least a word, sentence or phrase in. This works particularly well for younger ages.
Reminders to remind: Write a post-it note for the student to give to their teacher after every session, use these free speech sound reminders or have something that the teacher can keep at their desk. I had one teacher set up an actual reminder on their computer and during work time that student would practice their 10 words. It took 30 seconds. Kids are always coming up to the desk so think of something eye-catching but simple for teachers.
Work it into routine: Give your teacher some ideas of where they can put a short word list around the classroom so that when they are there with you kid, they can ask for them to repeat those 5 words, or make 1 sentence. These can be great to put at work stations, on the back of the door or in a bag area – anywhere where it is likely that the teacher will intercept the student on a daily basis. Another easy way can be having a specific time such as when they are leaving the classroom for sport, library or lunch (which is where having them on a door can be handy).
Have extra rewards: There are so many different reward systems out there, from simple star charts, to Dojo points. So why not see what your teacher is using and ask for an extra chart for your student’s speech sounds. If you work in a school, you could see if the chart is actually working by dropping in, or if you don’t you can always email the teacher and ask them.
Just as you might prefer one method, so might a teacher, so talk to them first. Tell them that you have ideas to help speech carryover in the classroom and see if they are willing to help. Go through the following suggestions, think of more and discuss what will most likely work for that teacher. Think of it as a collaboration.
I’m sure you’ve thought of a few more ways to remind teachers, haven’t you? Comment below and share your ideas.