(Based on a true story)
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Once upon a time, there was a crazy speech teacher (face it, fellow SLPs, that's what we are going to be called 99% of the time - the speech teacher part, anyway - in the school setting) who REALLY wanted her students to return their homework. Like desperately.
It wasn't because she wanted to torture them or anything. In fact, some of the homework was fun. Like tic tac toe and stuff. She even gave extra stickers when homework came back signed and on time.
Yet for every ten kids who took homework home, only one would bring it back. Sometimes, the crazy speech teacher would find homework crumpled on the floor in the hallway.
Sometimes students would forget homework in their desk... for months at a time until their teachers would bring the old, not-done homework assignments to the crazy speech teacher while she ate lunch.
The crazy speech teacher's biggest pet peeve was when students would just bring the homework back uncompleted, not signed, and with a pretty creative story.
After the last bell of the last school year, the crazy speech teacher had a new idea. One that just might work. She thought of this when she spotted a stack of hundreds of old school-year homework folders in the teacher's lounge. She scooped one for every student right up.
She saved them all summer. And when the students came back to school. They had a surprise.
Each student received a folder. They were told it would live in their backpack. It might eat some erasers. Maybe even glue sticks, but it is happiest in the backpack and should never leave. UNLESS it was coming to speech or to their parents. The folder was not supposed to go on any crazy adventures to the bathtub or under the bed or in the backyard. It feels very at home in the backpack. Right where it belongs.
The students were told that if they remembered the folder each speech day, they received an M&M. This seemed to magically work.
Only two weeks into speech and almost everyone is remembering. The folders aren't just full of homework, but a parent-SLP communication log (with correspondence, now!), resources for at-home help (like the ones posted already on "Heard In Speech"), and much more.
It didn't seem to take much, but that crazy speech teacher isn't as crazy anymore... and all it took was a little idea and 60 free folders.
(Based on a true story)