Module 2, Lesson 5: Scheduling
Scheduling. An SLP’s worst nightmare. I wish I had a magic wand to schedule for all of us. I can’t solve all of your scheduling woes since every single school has different scheduling requirements. I can, however, provide you with some tools to make scheduling a little bit easier.
My number one lifesaving tool (besides the master schedule that I am under strict orders to follow) is doodle.com. Doodle allows you to put in all possible times to see students and then asks the teachers to fill in the available times. It organizes it in a fabulous sheet and makes life a whole lot easier. Just type in all of your possible speech times (this is the hardest part of the process, I promise!) and email all of your teachers with the link. As teachers respond with good pullout times, I start putting post-its on the schedule.
- Never “invite participant.” Instead, copy the link at the end of your poll and include that in a personal email. No one is going to open an email from Doodle.com. They, however, will hopefully open an email from you!
- You will receive emails automatically each time that a teacher fills out the doodle. Start filling in your first draft schedule as these come in.
- Send an email to teachers letting them know what you are doing. Here is a sample:
“Dear teachers, it is time to schedule speech students again! This year, I am using doodle.com to help make the scheduling process smoother. Please click on the link below and do the following:
1. Set the time zone to the correct time zone, if needed.
2. Write your name in the box on the left.
3. Check every single time that I can possibly pull speech students (please do NOT just check one timeslot). Please be as flexible as possible.
4. Click submit.
5. That’s it! The answers will be recorded in order of submission.
Thank you so much for your help! I will continue to work with you to make this scheduling as smooth as possible.”
You’ve sent out your doodle, and you’ve created your ideal groups. Let’s get scheduling!
The easiest scheduling method that I’ve found is with a huge piece of butcher paper and lots of Post-it notes.
- Write each group on a Post-it note.
- If the group is seen 2x per week, write them on 2 post-its.
- Use a very large sheet of butcher paper that has been sectioned off by day and time.
- Use the doodle results to start putting students onto a scheduling grid.
- Move the Post-its around as much as needed.
- Rinse and repeat until you have a full draft ready to implement.
There is never really a “final” schedule since you will be revising your schedule throughout the year as you lose and gain students. However, at some point, you need to move away from the huge butcher paper schedule to a portable schedule.
There are several ways to document your schedule, but I prefer using Google Sheets because you can easily share it with colleagues. Test out this Speech Schedule Template.
- Send out your first doodle trial.
- Set up post-it scheduling on butcher paper.
- Set up your Google Sheet Schedule with the days and times of groups. You can label Groups 1, 2, and 3 if you aren’t sure which students will be included in each group.
- Do a victory dance and post the video within the community!
Link to ROADMAP for all lessons.