I graduated, now WHAT?! Tips for new Speech-Language Pathologists entering into their CFY

That’s me >>>>grad pic<<<<New graduate in 2011

The “real world” may seem overwhelming…You may be thinking, “OH NO, I’m fully in charge of this caseload?”

Here are some things that I wish I knew before venturing into the “real world”.

Tip #1 – Meet your CF Supervisor and ASK them questions

–          What is your favorite thing about this profession?

–          What is the hardest part of our profession?

–          Will you help me implement skilled interventions in therapy?

–          Can you show me some therapy techniques that you have found to be successful?

Unfortunately, no one showed me HOW to do therapy in graduate school.  I mostly observed 2nd year grad students who were likely as clueless as I was AND I was only observed but never really TAUGHT how to do it!  I mean, they had us seeing clients with Aphasia before we even took the Aphasia class…HOW BIZARRE!

Remember, your CF supervisor MUST observe you and should be looking over your evaluation reports.  Your CFY is the year that you learn the most!  (Well, I am at the end of my 3rd year and I am continuing to learn).  I was fortunate enough to have an awesome CF Supervisor that I could email when I was stressed and that jumped in on my therapy sessions to TEACH me!  So Thankful For Her! ❤

Here are some links to ASHA related to your CFY!






Tip #2 – Our job isn’t easy and it’s OK to reach out for help

jack of trades

We are the JACK OF ALL TRADES, master of none (unless you are fortunate enough to specialize in an area).  Remember not to get emotionally invested…it’s hard not to, I love my students!  But when you don’t see certain progress, you tend to question yourself, AM I GOOD ENOUGH?  Don’t think that way.  Take a step back and try something new.  If the child has a behavior that you couldn’t have predicted, don’t feel bad…there may have been nothing you could have done.

It is in our nature (most SLPs have huge hearts) to want to be able to help every child that we serve or to help everyone by doing everything!

I think it is helpful to join groups related to our profession that we can post questions to…there are some on Facebook.  Speaking of Speech – The Help Line  is one that I frequent to ask and answer questions.

Tip #3 – Collaboration

If you work in a school, team up with the other professionals on the IEP team.  Since your information and evaluation results are frequently needed for eligibility determination, team up with the Psychologist to discuss the student.  During grad school, I never knew how valuable it would be to meet with the psych prior to the meeting.  They may find something that they do not assess that the SLP could, and vice versa.  Also, if you are planning to exit a child…make sure the team is aware that you may consider this.  It is helpful to have them on your side if the parent isn’t ready to “let go” of your service.  It’s a good idea to pre-meet with the team to discuss the student and to discuss recommendations.

(I had to add something funny!  Throwback to Vanilla Ice – Ice Ice baby,  Alright STOP, collaborate and listen!)

It is also our Role and Responsibility to collaborate…Check out the Roles and Responsibilities of Speech-Language Pathologists in Schools over at ASHA

Also check out what collaboration looks like over at The ASHA Leader!


Whenever I write a post, I always end up GOOGLING 10 different things and come across so many websites!  Since I am writing about collaborating and tips for new SLPs, I came across this post.  Check it out at Carrie’s Speech Corner!  Showing some  Fellow SLP BLOG LOVE 🙂

question m

What are some tips that you would give new graduates entering into their CFY? 



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