Ready for School To Begin? Teletherapy and Other Tips

Well, the moment is almost upon you now.  The doors will be opening for the first time this year in a matter of days.  You have been running around like a chicken without a head for the past couple of weeks: last minute hires, preparing for orientation, meetings after meetings.  Are you ready?

More to the point, during this hectic time, you probably haven’t had a spare moment to think about opening day with your staff, and now it is almost upon you.  Need some last minute help to make that first staff meeting to make it a slam dunk? Keep reading for some valuable tips.

Your First Staff Meeting

How are you going to conduct that first staff meeting?  Is it going to be playful or are you going to get right down to business?  Perhaps you need to do a little of both. While you want to set everyone at ease by creating a congenial environment, it’s time to get down to work.

In a friendly, relaxed atmosphere you need to remind and reinforce the teachers of your overall objectives and how appreciative of the strides that have been made towards achieving them.  What can you accentuate about last year that will serve as the platform to upon which to build?

Be sure that your message reverberates with positivity and encouragement, finding every opportunity to compliment their strengths. And don’t forget to introduce new staff members, making them feel at home with their new team is vital for their comfort. Personalize that introduction.

While focusing on your new teachers, it is important to recognize the veterans in your staff and what happened in their lives over the summer; weddings, new babies, children going off to college, or special summer trips. This first meeting can be a wonderful opportunity for sharing and bonding.

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How To Break The Ice and Build The Team

Mimicking has often been called the highest form of flattery.  So remember, if you want your teachers to build relationships with their students, you will need to build relationships with your teachers. And the relationships you need to develop with your teachers begins on Day One!

Let’s not be naive.  A warm smile or handshake isn’t going to do it by itself, but it is a good start.  You need to set the tone, which in your capacity as principal includes an open and mutually beneficial relationship with every one of your staff. You can begin that relationship at that first meeting.

Teletherapy and Other Innovations

While relationships with your teachers are critical, they are by no means enough.  Your teachers need to know that you are “with the program” by any measure, which includes your technology acumen. Take teletherapy for example. Your teachers will be impressed to see how you have solved speech-language needs with cutting edge technology.

Teletherapy has been shown to significantly bring top-quality clinicians to increasing number of students, especially in rural areas. Demonstrating concern for special needs children with awareness of technological advances such as teletherapy will build your staff’s confidence in you.

Bottom Line

Face it, and there are a plethora of distractions the first few days.  But with careful planning and focusing upon the bigger picture, you are bound to make the first day or two as constructive as possible, setting the tone for your best year so far.

principal greatness

Teletherapy and Other Pathways to Principal Greatness

As the new school year is about to begin, pregnant with both opportunities and challenges for principals and administrators, there is still time to dream.  Dream about what you might ask: dream about greatness. But why allow your dreams remain just that, when you can do things to make them come true.

Below are six practical suggestions to set you on the path to your greatness.

1. Become an Outstanding Leader

Since as a principal you are responsible for the faculty, staff, and students the role of leadership has been thrust upon you whether you like it or not. To command the respect that will be needed to guarantee smooth functioning on a daily basis, you will need to rise to the challenge.

Demanding or even expecting that respect probably won’t work.  Instead, you must be prepared to place everyone’s needs before your own.  As it becomes evident that you are consistently responsive to the daily problems and are working to create positive changes, authentic leadership will come naturally.

2. First and Foremost, Be a People Person

Although it may be easier to run the school by checking the monitors on your desk, it just won’t work.  Unless you make your presence known and reach out to faculty, students, and staff to build genuine relationships you will seem like another cold and distant administrator.

The equation is quite simple.  The more you invest in people, the more significant your impact.  Go into the halls between periods greeting children with your warm smile, wander into classrooms during class, go outside during recess, and be there for dismissal.  Seize your opportunities.

3. Let Everyone Know That You are Fair and Reasonable

While you may have your personal favorites when it comes to faculty, staff or students, no one ever should receive preferential treatment. If you aren’t careful here, you will quickly lose your credibility which will make your job infinitely more difficult.

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Instead, go out of your way to hear two sides of every story before coming to any judgment. If you see that someone is being mistreated, even if it someone you don’t like, be sure to be compassionate and assure that everyone is treated fairly.  Gaining everyone’s trust is essential.

4. Become an Effective Problem Solver

Lke it or not, everyone including parents will see you as the one to solve the problem at hand.  Whether or not you have the talent or experience doesn’t matter. You are the bottom line. That doesn’t mean that you will always have the answer.

What is important here is the process.  You will need to remain calm, cool, and collected, considering all the options, and offering an objective solution.  With experience, you are bound to improve in this area. What’s more, it will serve you well to defer when someone has a better solution.  This creates a culture of cooperation which will serve you well.

5. Teletherapy and Responding to Other Special Needs

As any principal knows, the needs of some of the children go way beyond the classroom.  Take those special needs for example, such as children with speech-language deficiencies.  What is the principal to do if there aren’t enough excellent therapists to serve all the children who need?

Discovering innovations such as teletherapy turn nightmare into a beautiful dreams. Teletherapy is less expensive and adds convenience, in addition to providing top quality therapists where there were none.  Teletherapy is a solution that requires the principal to think outside of the box- exactly the thinking that may be necessary to solve those seemingly impossible problems.

Is your school looking to explore the benefits of teletherapy? Schedule your free demo today.

mental health rural america teletherapy

Mental Health in Rural America: Shame, Shortages and Solutions

According to recent research, mental health in America is a greater problem in rural than in urban areas.  Take older adults for example. Anywhere between 10-25% of the elderly in rural areas is afflicted by mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression.

But the problem is not just the higher frequency of mental illness.  It is exacerbated by the fact that many of these people opt not to seek treatment and instead suffer in silence.  The question is why?

Shame

It was revealed in a recent study conducted by researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine which involved nearly 500 adults 60 and above in rural North Carolina that the most common barrier to receiving necessary help was the shame- the conviction that “I shouldn’t need help.”

 

Stigma, which most understand to mean that there is something shameful, is often felt more acutely in rural communities due to the built-in lack of anonymity. Whereas in the city no one has a clue when someone is going for help, in the town just about everyone knows whose car is parked outside of the therapist’s office.

 

Compounding the stigma and the shame is often the lack of mental health education available to those in rural areas.  Ignorance of what mental health problems are and what they are not combined with generational prejudices and the hype in the media regarding violent acts allegedly stemming from mental health problems, prove to be a potent mix that only increases the shame.

 

Shortages

To make things worse, even when the stigma can be surmounted, is there anyone to go to for help?  And even if services can be found, they are often too limited to be of any real consequence. The likelihood of finding a mental health professional in the community trained to deal with many of the problems found there is at times quite small.

 

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Unfortunately, there are mental health practitioners in rural areas treating people, both children and adults, that lack adequate training. Aside from attending a weekend seminar or perhaps watching some YouTube videos online, they have no formal academic training that has prepared them for the types of problems they will face.

 

Solutions

Part of the answer may lay in encouraging students in Rural America to pursue the field of Mental Health as a career. Getting more rural practitioners begins with laying the groundwork to captivate more of the youth. Combining their experiences and innate sensitivities regarding Rural America could prove to be a powerful combination.

 

But there may be a simpler solution. Remote mental health therapy known as teletherapy holds excellent promise for Rural America. Cutting edge technology has provided the means to have top-quality therapists living in large metropolitan areas to deliver state of the art mental health therapy to those in rural areas which is both convenient and affordable and could do much to ameliorate the shame.

 

A Call to Action

There are no quick fixes to solving the problems and challenges facing rural communities regarding mental health. Some of these problems are indigenous to growing mental health crisis in the nation as a whole while others are borne of the complexities germane to Rural America.

 

But one thing is sure. We can no longer close our eyes and hope the problems will somehow magically disappear. Until we accept the reality, become more resourceful, and remain steadfastly determined nothing much will change, and those who are so much in need will continue to suffer, often in silence.

Is your school looking to explore the benefits of teletherapy? Schedule your free demo today.

new year teletherapy

Get Ready for a Great New Year of Teletherapy and More

As a school administrator, it will be difficult not to spend at least some of your remaining vacation time preparing for the new school year, which is now only weeks away. You probably know all too well that your planning needs to take into consideration the preparation of your teachers, therapists, and clinicians performing teletherapy as well.

Similarly, organizing and planning is only half the story. What about your teachers and teletherapy clinicians who are still exhausted and on the verge of burnout from the busy year that just ended? How can you improve your performance, while enhancing their efforts in the classroom and in those critical therapy sessions?

Here are some time-proven tips to make the most out of yours and their last few days of basking in the summer sun. Why not try some of them while there is still time?

1. Assess, review and celebrate – Before you get too wrapped up in next year, take a deep breath and celebrate those moments and accomplishments that you and your staff enjoyed over the past year. More than just a pat on the back, this focus will energize you and help to identify what to keep and what to discard.

 

2. Assure that your teletherapy and other goals are achievable – Once you identify what needs to be improved, you are ready to establish goals that are both specific and achievable. Don’t remain in that nebulous realm of generalities, but get specific knowing that anything can be modified throughout the year.

 

3. Communicate and connect– It isn’t too late to contact other principals to share your questions and ideas for the coming school year. Whether by phone or online make sure that you have those critical communications before it is too late. Aside from new ideas, the interaction may ignite your passion for the coming year.

 

Get your free copy of our groundbreaking ebook: Teletherapy Diminishes Client Engagement: Debunking The Myths

4. Time for exploration – Sometimes you need to try something new and exciting. During the busy school year, there isn’t the opportunity to investigate new ideas or techniques. Though there isn’t much time left, now is the perfect moment to explore that new and innovative teletherapy solution that may have a powerful impact.

 

5. Begin anew with a clean slate – As you watch students moving to the next grade, be mindful that the children see themselves as older and bigger.  Be sure to keep this in mind as you interact with them. What’s more, force yourself to allow the disappointments and frustrations from last year to fade away so you can start fresh.

 

6. Recharge and rejuvenate – Although you don’t have a lot of time, use this last little bit to relax with friends and family, maximizing those stress-free moments. Exercise, go boating, ride a bike, or go somewhere beautiful to get your head out of the work before you need to return to your office. Enjoy and re-energize to return strong.

 

7. Allow yourself to feel the excitement!– Take the time to develop an enthusiastic and positive mindset before you walk through the school doors for the first time. Let your excitement and enthusiasm be the foundation for your best year so far.

Is your school looking to explore the benefits of teletherapy? Schedule your free demo today.