Today I am continuing the Day in the Life of a School Psychologist series for School Psychology Awareness Week, aka SPAW (I love that acronym, being one off from SPAWN and making us seem kind of evil).
I cannot believe it is only Tuesday. Here we go:
7:30am: Student Success Team meeting. Yes, at 7:30am. I know I’m an early bird and all, but it’s a little early for problem-solving, right? We talk about a kid who has had reading intervention forever and is not progressing. I am thankful this school has a lot of reading interventions. It makes my decision to proceed with testing so much easier. This one is a slam dunk. He’s gonna be one of my customers so we can see if he has a learning disability.
8:30am: Look in mailbox at school and pull out one week’s worth of notes. As I’m thumbing through them, I overhear one of my darlings say, “Where are the forms for getting the principal fired?” Oh dear. We have a brief discussion about the issue troubling him, and he is calm enough to be shipped off to class. I cross my fingers.
9:00: Speech pathologist and I ro-shom-bo (sp?) for who uses the office today. I win. Tomorrow, she wins. I ask her if she is going to use the pen today (we have one pen) and she proudly pulls one out of her purse and says she brought her own today.
9:15: Of all the times, the freakin' School Superintendent walks by as we are discussing this. I think of asking for a pen budget, but instead give my 20 second speech on the importance of having school psychologists on site more than a half day a week so we can really help students be ready to learn. Somewhere, the people who created SPAW are crying a tear of joy. Superintendent agrees mental health is important. We’ll see if the budget agrees when we get our next round of budget cuts.
9:30-10: Start to write report from testing I did two weeks ago. I’m so behind on writing. Plus, its so hard to focus when its so cold I can’t feel my nose. They haven’t turned the heat on yet. I forgot my portable space heater.
10:00-10:15: Teacher comes in a presents me with EIGHT pens! EIGHT! She read my Facey Face Fan Page post last night about my pen sharing woes. I also ask her if she thinks there is a market for a nose-scarf. It would be like a clown nose, only I’d knit just a little nose sweater of sorts. It wouldn't be as cumbersome as a scarf, but it would stay nicely on the nose. She wants one for Christmas.
10:15: Surprise parent visit. We talk for an hour about ways to support the student. Just kidding about finishing that report today, I guess.
11:15: Counseling session with a student with lots of worries. We talk about how negative predictions make us feel sad or worried, and we draw crystal balls and crumble them up to show how we often don’t have evidence that something bad is going to happen.
12:00-12:30: Lunch. I know! A real lunch! This school is totally bonded and all the teachers and staff actually eat together. Its relatively free of talk about kids. It’s a nice break. Though in this half hour, I schedule 4 meetings and pop them in my iPhone. No, I love YOU more, iPhone.
12:30-2:00: Train middle school kids in a cross-age peer tutoring program where they teach reading to 1st graders. I am strategic and pick kids who need help with their own reading. Mwa ha ha (evil laugh) I have tricked you all into a reading intervention, in a way. But if they feel confident in reading to little ones, they may feel more confident overall. And practice is practice, even if it is early reading material. It counts, and the kids love it.
2:00-3:00: Massive flurry of “check ins”—kids who don’t necessarily need counseling, but need a check in to make sure they are doing okay. Scrawl down notes about check ins. Documenting is one of the main habits school psychs have to get into. If you don't write it down, it didn't happen. Plus when you have 4 school sites to juggle, you want to make sure you don't forget any of the details.
3:00-4:00: I’m totally exhausted but have passed my window of having an afternoon coffee without being up all night. Curses. I work on the dreaded report again. Its one of 8 I need to write before T-give break. One down...I am ready to print. GAH. No toner. No printing satisfaction today. Ah well, It’s all in a day’s work, and I go home…
….Just kidding! I’m not done. I am presenting at the school tonight for parents on preventing bullying and I need to put together final details of my presentation. I think I will have that coffee after all…
Happy School Psychology Awareness Week! May it be full of warm fuzzies, new pens, toner-filled printers, and a temperate climate in your workspace.