Lisa and I were recently talking with someone about SLP Toolkit. He asked what we hoped for by starting this company. My response was simple and came easily. "We want to make a difference in the lives of busy SLPs so they can make a difference in the lives of their students." I was then honest when I told him that up until a few months ago, I didn't know how much longer I could do this job. I was tired. I was burnt out. I no longer felt like I was making a difference. I am passionate about working with children because I want to encourage and uplift them and give them the tools they need to be successful. The problem is when I am buried in unreasonable caseloads, paperwork, and deadlines, I have nothing left to give. I didn't like the feeling that I wasn't giving my students the quality care I knew they deserved and it made me question if I should continue to work in the schools. I had lost some of the passion and I knew I wasn't doing great work. I believe most of us are overachievers :) We didn't get through rigorous coursework and internships by being anything less than determined and dedicated. With this personality type it is hard to settle, or to be mediocre. We want to do our best work and when we can't it's a tough pill to swallow.
When Lisa and I developed SLP Toolkit, we knew we wanted to create resources that streamlined best practice, allowing us to do great work. We believe we have found a solution. We created tools that quickly and effectively assess a student's communication strengths and needs, guide SLPs in making informed treatment decisions, and measure progress accurately and efficiently. The best part is that it's paperless, organized, and accessible.
Why is this so beneficial to busy SLPs? We no longer have to settle or write mediocre treatment plans. We don't have to guess or scramble to collect data. We can feel more confident in the picture we have created of a child's communication abilities. We can determine appropriate treatment. We can easily and accurately measure the student's progress. We still have to use clinical expertise and write individualized plans for our students, but SLP Toolkit allows us to do it with less time and planning and guides the process using the principles of best practice.
I have found joy in the job again by removing some of the burden. While I never stopped loving the students, I did need to rediscover the love of the job. I have no doubt this will allow me to do great work.
I co-created the innovative web app SLP Toolkit. We are school SLPs who are passionate about streamlining workload so time can be spent where it counts - with students: www.slptoolkit.com