I had my first B2S (Back to School) dream a few nights ago: I was trying to
organize the files of the students with overdue assessments and I could
only find 2 out of the 40 files I needed.* Last night, I had another: I dreamed
the copier wasn’t working and I had an IEP meeting to get to and my report
wasn’t copied. I suppose “dream” is the wrong word choice in this situation.
Yes, it’s annual B2S anxiety nightmare season! I imagine my sub-c saying
something like, “Guuuuuuurl…you better get yourself ready for the drama of a
new school year.” So here we go. I am readying myself in the following ways, and invite those who are trying to get back in the spirit of B2S to join me:
1)Go to Target. I know, it’s not very
zen to put “obtain materialistic goods during B2S sales” as the top coping
strategy, but I do actually find myself very zen and centered in Target. Perhaps
it’s that mesmerizing bulls eye logo that does it. Only problem is, I go in for pencils and come out with a giant cart worth of stuff. That bulls eye hypnotizes me---I. Need. New. Curtains. And. Everything. I. See. I. Will. Obey. You. Swirly. Red. Friend.
This year, I plan to have self-control
though. I will only purchase a few new play therapy toys
(because if I play Uno one more time, I swear, I’ll lose it), one or two new
school psychologist costumes (look out, Sister Wife 3, I’m jacking your style),
and one zillion pens and pencils (of which one will remain in my possession by
the end of the school year.) Oh, and maybe also some new curtains. The bulls eye
doesn’t lie. I need them.
2)Pick ONE New Tool to Use During the School Year to Improve Your Practice. After going to conferences, doing professional developments, or
reading about new techniques and trends on Twitter and blogs, I get excited to
implement them all in my daily work as a school p. But then, I have days like these
and it’s all I can do to not tear my hair out (not a good look) and get one
little thing done. So this year, I plan to add only one new tool to improve my
practice. This year’s winner? Integrating a strengths-based assessment tool
into my testing battery. I am tired of my reports having 13 pages of what a kid
can’t do and then at the end, a wimpy section that says something like,
“Strengths include working well one-on-one!”
The winning assessment I am adding
is also FREE. Can you believe it? It will need to be free once I accidently
spend Baby B’s college fund at Target. The free assessment is the VIA Strength Survey for Children.It is based on the research that there are 24 “signature
strengths” that can be tapped into to promote happiness. And let’s face it, our
little friends struggling in school could use a little happiness infusion from
time to time, by building their strengths, especially when there are horrible moments when a parent can't think of any strengths. This FREE survey is a great little counseling tool
as well, to have kiddos think of new ways to use their strengths. They have a
survey for adults too if you want to take it just for funsies.**
3)Read Some Kid or Young Adult
Fiction. Now I haven’t read a book since “What To Expect When You’re
Expecting” and “The Happiest Baby on the Block” (unless you count board books, where it is clear Baby B is is making text-to-text connections between her Boynton books). So this recommendation is exciting for me. Now you might want to get a Kindle for this
rec, if you’re prone to being embarrassed for reading Captain
Underpants or Twilight in public. Truth is though, most people have
now read the Hunger Games and such, so go for it. I find that being up to date
on the latest book helps me in counseling situations when kids are hesitant to
talk about their problems, but they can relate to characters in books and talk
freely. I once worked with a girl who refused to talk about
her eating disorder, but she asked me to read “The Pretties,” which has themes
about body image in it, and we were able to talk about the character’s feelings. Slowly but surely, we were able to talk directly about the girl’s feelings.
Plus, some YA fiction is pretty good. I find that I enjoy how cognitively complex
they are compared to Baby B’s board books.
4)Read My Book. What? You didn’t
actually expect me to get through an entire post without shamelessly plugging
The School Psychologist’s Survival Guide, now did you? Well, since I subject
you to this all the time, how about this book is on me this time? Yea! A B2S Giveway!
To enter, you can a) make a comment
on this blog or the Facey Face fan page with one thing you are doing to prepare
for B2S or b) share this post on Facey or Twitter (be sure to tag Notes From the
School Psychologist Blog or @studentsgrow so I know). I will put the names in a list
and then use a random number generator to pick the winner. Good luck!
*I am not tech savvy at all, so I'm pretty dang proud of myself for making a meme. AND for knowing what a meme is.
**My top strength is apparently
“Forgiveness and Mercy.” Guess that’s why I am always returning each school
year pretending I wasn’t a psychological punching bag all year long the prior year. My how
summer vacay erases your memory...Even though my sub-c knows better.