Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pick your Battles

Picking your battles is important not only in the realm of the speech pathology room, but also in life in general. I'm learning this more and more as I go through graduate school and, simply, as I grow up.

Before I started doing therapy, I felt like when working with kids you HAVE to stick to your guns without fail, EVERY TIME. No talking out of turn, no comments under the breath, etc., etc. While I still think, to a certain degree, this is true, I also think that you have to pick your battles and give a little slack every now and then. Before I started my school practicum, I came from a background of "never give-in" because it shows that you are weak and that the child is going to walk all over you.

Frankly, I have learned that this just isn't true. Sure- if you give in 100% of the time, then the student (or ANYONE, for that matter) will learn that they can walk all over you 100% of the time. But there is a balance of moving on from the minor issues and handling what truly matters.

For example, I noticed immediately coming into my practicum that all the school kids there LOVE coming to speech. I also noticed that my supervisor had a different way of handling behavioral issues from what I had seen in the past. She didn't immediately freak if a minor issue happened; instead, she diffused the situation and continued on with the main purpose of being there, IMPROVE SPEECH & LANGUAGE! That's why everyone loves speech! It's fun and purposeful -- time isn't wasted on the minor issues.

I have learned that this is, kind of, a metaphor for life. Why spend time fighting every battle that comes your way or complaining over everything little thing possible? This is a WASTE of your time and energy that you could spend improving or enjoying other aspects of your life.

So, pick your battles... whether that's with your time commitments, personal relationships, or with your speech path kiddos, I think you will find your daily life to be more fruitful and your outlook to be more positive.

I'm not saying I'm a pro at this yet, but I'm working on it. Eliminating one pointless battle at a time.

Your turn...


  1. I wish you could talk to some of the teachers at my old school - they need that lesson in their lives/classroom too! :)

    1. Thanks Laura!! I miss you a ton and know of all that people I know, that you keep the positive attitude no doubt (plus I'm sure picking your battles). Hope to see you next time I'm in Norman so I can get caught up!!