02 03 Notes from the School Psychologist: Back to School Tips for School Psychologists 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Back to School Tips for School Psychologists


When one is on maternity leave, every day is a Saturday in an unknown month. And then one Saturday your Target store is super busy and you’re like, “What is going on?!? Why is my Target packed with people?” and you realize it is actually a Saturday. And it just might be back to school time. Oh, and your friends start posting adorbs photos of their kids getting ready for first day back. So I may be slightly late for my back to school tips, but here they are. Like IEPs and assessments, better late than never. In no particular order:

1)    Go to the dentist and get your haircut. Seriously. Aint nobody got time for that once school starts. Or if you’ve already started school, book a Saturday appointment now, since the next available will be months from now. No one wants to be in October looking like the lovechild of Jafar and that Nicky girl from Orange is the New Black. 

2)    Get your forms and templates in order. You know how every year you vow to update your report templates or forms for parents/teachers and then never do it? Or is that just me? I have a fantasy of putting all my recommendations I ever have thought of into one master document, organized by theme (e.g. executive functioning, auditory memory) and then pulling recommendations into the reports, tailored for each child’s needs. And then the baby wakes up or the toddler NEEDS me to find Pinkie Pie Pony and it doesn’t happen. But if you don’t have kids, it’s go time. I will live vicariously through you.

3)    Save time and print up organization, case management, and forms/templates from a book. Now what book would have such specific forms just for school psychologists? I just can’t put my finger on such a resource…oh wait! The School Psychologist’s Survival Guide! Shameless, I know. But tens of reviewers on Amazon can't be wrong.

4)    Take a nap in the middle of the day. You will be wishing you could nap on demand once school starts. Live it up now. If you have kids, sorry you’re out of luck. Only once every Saturn Returns do kids nap at the same time when you are tired. And when they do, you have to make that phone call to your hairdresser. School psychs without kids: LIVE. IT. UP. For the rest of us, there’s no shame in calling grandma or a babysitter over to have an afternoon nap.

5)    Make a New School Year Resolution. Every school year, I vow to improve my practice in one small way. Maybe it’s taking a few webinars on play therapy or learning a new assessment, or even vowing to actually take a lunch. Mix it up, learn something new, and prioritize something about the job that you love to do and infuse it into your daily practice. My resolution? Get ready for the new WISC-V by watching training webinars, which I am pathetically super excited about! NERD ALERT. I mean, what items are they going to change? Is the typewriter picture going away? I am on the edge of my nerdy, nerdy seat.

6)    Go shopping. I hate to be predictable, but there is something so friggin’ exciting about getting a new planner, new organizational tool, new bag, new coffee mug the size of your head, or new school psychologist costume for the new year. 

So whenever your school year starts, or if it has even started already, go ahead and post an adorable picture of yourself on your Facebook page with your million bags you carry for your first day back.* And I wish you a wonderful school year!

*For fun, I asked Toddler B what mommy did for work and she said, “Carries a lot of purses.” Correct.
35 36 37 38