Am I a good enough SLP?
My friend came to me, eyes downcast with a slight frown. She's been working at a job for 2 years as an SLP.
"I just feel so unprepared. This isn't what I thought it would be," she told me.
She loved her students, but her caseload was unmanageable.
She enjoyed working with parents, but parents who were angry or in denial were taking up most of her time and brain space.
She enjoyed planning sessions, but it was just taking too long. Even when she felt like she'd run a great session, the unrealistic lesson plans on blogs and Instagram we're getting her down.
She enjoyed many of her coworkers, but they were burned out too. This led to a feeling at work that was one of hopelessness at times.
Some jobs are just so hard.
And I wish I could conquer the Bad Job (which really isn't a bad job, just too poor job fit) for you. But, I can't.
However, I can say this: just because the job is hard, doesn't mean you are failing.
Right now, you are rocking it.
It's easy to let the bad parts of our day impact how we feel about ourselves and our job performance. As human beings we have a negative bias, the hard things that happened during our day will stick. They're easier to recollect and ruminate on.
Good things happened today, and you facilitated that. If nothing else, just remember you are kicking ass.
This is what I'd like to tell that friend from the start of this post...
I see those lessons you plan. I see how you thoughtfully choose engaging tasks. Even so, sometimes you wing it. You know what? You are the Wing It Queen. Accept your crown.
If you work in schools - I see those IEPs you write while blasting Pandora on your headphones. I see you carefully thinking of each student and reflecting on how they've done last year and wishing them the best for the next.
If you work outside the school setting - I see those progress notes, soap notes, evaluation reports. You are carefully considering each client. You care for them and as you write their plans you wish them the best for the sessions ahead.
When you deal with people who are negative or angry, you understand where they come from. You can't always help, but you do care.
So, here is to the overworked, loving, SLP.
You are good enough. Your work is good enough.
You may doubt your job, but don't doubt yourself.