schoolpsychweek_poster


I hope you all read the title “SPAW! SPAW!” to the sound effect of a large predatory bird cawing. No? Well I did in my head. SPAW stands for School Psychology Awareness Week, in case anyone was wondering. So, how was your SPAW? I spent mine on maternity leave, making informal Individual Education Plan goals for my baby daughter in my head, as in: “Baby B will reach for a desired object on 4 out of 5 trials as measured by mommy charted records.”

Since I was not at work this year for SPAW, I thought I’d do a little recycling for those who haven’t been with the blog since 2007, but are too daunted by the hojillion posts to go searching for what the days of a school psychologist are like. Here’s a hint: never the same. You never know what will present itself when you walk in your school doors, and chances are, your plans for the day go out the window within the first hour or so. It’s what I like about our profession–never a dull moment. So here are some oldies, but goodies, about the day in the life of…moi.

A typical day, full of children trying to run away from me and foreign objects being thrown.

Another day, another quest for a pen and additional time to do my job.

Three days smooshed into one, full of cold pricklies (guns and whatnot) and warm fuzzies (kids making real changes).

Top 10 things I do as a school psychologist

Fuzzy math: why we never have time to do our job

Somebody, hug me. I hate when advocates get unnecessarily saucy in meetings.

And to spice it up with something new, here is a sample of how your friends at the NFtSP Blog Facey Face page spent their SPAW:

  • Teaching social skills, counseling, and behavior plans.
  • Sat on teams for inclusion, Positive Behavior Intervention System (PBIS), and “yellow zone” behavior interventions.
  • Provided parents with the information that they need to ensure that their child receives accommodations when writing SAT and other necessary exams, and when attending post-secondary school.
  • Giving a questionnaire to fifth graders to assess for the prevalence of bullying at their school.
  • In my current job I rarely ever test anymore. This week I was schooled on the most effective way to steal cars. (I work in a juvenile jail)
  • Implementing check-in/check-out program for the district! Oh, and in Response to Intervention (RtI) meetings out the wazoo.
  • Started a group for 5th grade girls targeting current relational aggression issues
  • I spent 5 hours of my day today in a student crisis situation…
  • Created a “Manners Jeopardy” game for our middle school counseling groups… in light of thanksgiving coming up. Doesn’t hurt to remind 7th and 8th graders about table manners, conversation manners, etc!
  • I had a rather humorous counseling session, followed up with the student showing me his sticker chart for good behavior later in the day.
  • Helped a life skills student conquer his bus phobia with a get on the bus, get off the bus, ride laps around the parking lot with a very patient bus driver yesterday. The kiddo took a mass transit bus to a field trip today and the school bus back.
  • I attended a full day of training on the iPad. We just got them to use to administer AIMSweb probes to our elementary students (and to have a little fun with!)
  • Helped a first grade classroom teacher plan a re-entry plan for a student with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) returning to school from a partial hospitalization program
  • Prepared for and led a middle school team meeting to prepare for the admission of a student with autism and is non-verbal moving to our district from a foreign country at the end of the month. I had requested translated reports and video of the student in his current educational setting from his parents and shared all this with the group today. I told them they were going to do amazing things with this student, who to this point, has not received much in the way of meaningful instruction. And I meant it! They are pumped!
  • RtI meetings, threat assessment, behavior plans
  • Wrote 2 behavior plans, manned a school-wide community service project, and managed data and made decisions about students on our Check-in, Check-out Tier II PBIS program.
  • I have the Michael Franti “Be a Learner” song from third grade Second Step stuck in my head after doing the same lesson in three classrooms. It’s catchy!
  • Provided Grief/Crisis Counseling Support and drove a parent to visit a program for their child.

See, we are more than just testing and IEP machines! Spread the news!

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Baby B is at 80% mastery on her IEP goal, as she reached for her Whoozit toy four times today. Genius child.

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