Is it just me or is the planning for telehealth super time consuming? I feel like I'm more stressed out now than I am during the regular school year! I'm sure it's just because it's different and I'm trying to manage a life style that is completely NEW! However, it is stressful! At this point, my district is not requiring us to do "telehealth" but we were instructed to provide regular contact with our students based on their current frequencies per week. I thought it may be helpful to share some the strategies that I have been using:
1. Send an email to your whole school and ask the teachers to invite you to any virtual classroom meetings that they are having. Attend as many as you can! I have found that this is uplifting and I always seem to be able to share something!
2. Organize your caseload into 3 categories based on their skill level. I used the colors Blue (Preschool/Kindergarten age), Green (1st/2nd Grade), and Yellow (3-5th grade). Then send an email to each group regularly. I put the parent's emails in the "BCC" section and put my own email address in the "TO" section. Then each time I send out an email I just go the last email and hit "Reply All" and add my new information to the top of the email. This way I will have a list of all of my emails on one document (in case we need it later) and I don't have to waste time copying/pasting every single time! I have been sending out an email to each group twice per week.
3. Create a Google Doc for EACH of your older students (3-5th grade) and share it with them! Email each parent to let them know that it will be found in the "shared with me" folder of their child's Google Drive. This is an example of what I wrote in the Google Doc for the first time:
Hi Josh! I hope you are doing well! I am writing to let you know that I miss you and am hoping that we can become pen pals! It would be cool if each time we write we ask at least one question to the other person. Then we can respond and ask a new question! I thought it would be funny if we played “Would you rather?” So my first question to you is: Josh, would you rather smell like an onion or smell like a foot? I’ll let you know my answer after you write back! Write on top of my message in a different color....this way the newest messages will always be on the top! I can’t wait to hear from you!
Love, Mrs. Wiggins
4. Since I am getting information from my own children's school, I am starting to understand that therapists aren't the only ones that are stressed. Parents receiving our emails and communication are getting super overwhelmed as well! Therefore I thought it would be a good idea to create mini videos that explain the activity I'm giving out. Isn't it more fun to watch directions compared to reading them? I think so! This can be as simple as just recording yourself while you explain the activity and send it out. I have been making mini videos and compiling them into one using a video editing app called Filmmaker. I do find that adding it to your own youtube channel is much easier because you can just send the link. To add a video: use the youtube app, tap on the little black video camera at the top of the screen, press RECORD...and start talking! It's literally that easy! You will also notice that you could also click on any video that is in your Photos on your phone camera.
Check out one of my videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWB1euBCE5U&t=79s
I plan on sending you a copy of each of the emails I send out each week so that you can use them for yourself! During this time of increased stress, we may as well work together! I hope that you find this helpful!