I found myself feeling bored yesterday afternoon as I sat on the couch with no TV to watch. I had already spent a lot of time going through my newsfeed and scrolling through Instagram pics.

“This is not good,” I thought to myself. I hope this is not how my summer will be. So, I decided to PICK UP A BOOK!

Well, I didn’t actually pick up a hard copy of a book. I bought the digital copy of "Making Hope Happen" by Shane J. Lopez on my iPad.

Lopez is a Gallup Senior Scientist and a psychologist that studies the psychology of hope. I am barely on the third chapter of the book, but I have already taken away valuable lessons- how to begin my next year’s speech sessions.

This scientist/psychologist mentioned one of his experiences as a student finishing up his last year of clinical training when a patient changed his mind set on the importance of feeling hope. The experience with this patient made him want to instill hope within everyone he came across.

He started to begin his therapy sessions with, “If therapy is successful now, what will your life look like in five years?”

Wow! This got me thinking of how I discussed the importance of goal setting with my students. Throughout the year, I too set goals for myself. Some I accomplished, some I put to the side, and some I’m still working on.

I began questioning why I put the goals that I wish to really happen to the side. Did I lose hope in them? I hope not! I constantly dream about my future and some of my most lavish fantasies are still the ones I continue to work towards. I’m hopeful for the future. I’m hopeful that the visions in my mind will one day come true.

Kids are the same way. They are so hopeful for their dreams to come true. I think that’s why I love working them.

But some kids are sad or angry. These are the ones that occupy my mind so much because I want to figure out how to make them happy and now hopeful. I want them to work hard towards their speech goals and realize that they themselves can create their future and be great in school.

I’ve decided to begin my therapy sessions with asking them, “If therapy is successful, what will you sound like by the end of the year? By the end of fifth grade?”

Then I will review their goals and show them a map of success that I’ve created for them to reach their goals while they’re in speech therapy. They will then go home and draw out their own map of success to their speech goals so that way they can feel responsibility over their progress while at home or anytime they are out of my speech room.  

The goal is to make them realize that there is hope and hopefully begin to feel it and create a change.  

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