Somehow, this is one of the easiest solutions to avoiding burnout, but also one of the most most difficult. If your workload is truly unmanageable, ask for help! There’s no way you are going to get help if you simply wait for someone to notice the problems you are facing. You have to ask for help, and offer possible solutions. Now, your administration might not be the most helpful, or perhaps there simply isn’t enough trained staff to go around, but a good administrator will help in whatever ways he or she can. (And if not? That might be a sign to look for another position.)
The key is to think creatively about what is overwhelming you or taking too much time in your week. Sure, having another SLP or assistant take over part of your caseload would be terrific, but that might not always be a solution. Maybe having an aide or parent volunteer come in for half a day to help make copies, laminate and cut out materials, or assist with clerical tasks would help take a bit of load off you. Maybe another SLP could help cover some of your pending evaluations. Maybe you could fit students in the same group if their homeroom’s library times were changed. Maybe you could get your billing done if you didn’t have bus or lunch duty. Keep in mind that your administrator may not know what would help, and you’re much more likely to get help if you have some concrete suggestions.
One last thing to keep in mind – the job itself is replaceable. You can find another one, and they’ll find someone to fill where you are now. However, YOU are not replaceable. There’s only one of you, and you are worth everything, friend. Take care of yourself. <3
Julie Taylor says
Thank you so much for this post. I needed to be reminded of many of these things. Praying you have a blessed year!
As a retired and overworked SLP, you have hit the nail on the head. I have been subbing for a recently deceased colleague until the position is filled. It has sucked the life out of me in a matter of weeks. After 32 years I have learned that my own well-being is of utmost importance. We are all easily replaceable!
Ally Mack says
Thank you! This is so true and needed to be reminded.
Again Thank you.