Tuesday, July 15, 2014

An intervention worked for me!

There are so many interventions that I recommend to parents in when I'm in my school psych mode that I would never ever ever try myself. Not because the interventions are rubbish, far from it! It's really because I'm just way too disorganized to maintain the integrity of the plan. I need interventions that run well on their own. Something that requires very little input from me yet motivates my children as well.

This summer, I implemented reading bingo sheets. These were the sheets I posted about on Facebook a little while ago. Basically, earn a BINGO and earn a prize. Prizes range from $5.00 at the local ice cream shop to $5.00 gift cards to Target. All you have to do is complete one reading activity in a day. The reading activity must be at least 20 minutes long and you can check off only one box a day.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The giving of classroom accommodations - there's more to it than meets my eye

In the adult college class that I am teaching this summer, is a student with special needs who requires classroom accommodations.  I discovered this on the first day of class last week, when the student walked up to me asking for my signature on the form legally binding me to provide these accommodations. In that moment, with the poorly copied form in front of my face, I suddenly felt like I was chosen to be the ambassador for all school psychologists everywhere to show that giving accommodations is not the worst thing that could happen to you in your life.  I - skoolpsych mo, had been chosen to give this student the best accommodations ever to be given in any classroom ever! This was going to be totally awesome! I saw the list of accommodations, but there was no disability listed.  After all, it was really none of my business. But suddenly I felt uncomfortable - for me, knowing a student's disability also tells me what a student does well, and what strengths I can build on. There was no preferred learning style on that sheet.  I need more information!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Preventing the summer slump - in myself!

About this time last summer, I was investigating professional development vs. professional learning for myself as a school psychologist.  At the time, I was a little disenchanted with the professional development opportunities provided by my district, mainly because none of the PD opportunities I was offered or required to attend really fed my school psychologist persona - all of them were geared more to my Team Chairperson role. In a complete turnaround this past year school year, my district provided more professional development as a school psychologist than it had ever before. I would like to think my post had something to do with it, however I am sure it had more to do with the change in leadership that occurred over the summer break. A new special education director was appointed and this time this person was promoted from within the district personnel ranks, thus was keenly aware of the unique needs of the district and its personnel.

Thanks to the new directors' efforts and some fancy schmancy budgeting, I was able to attend a number of specialized trainings in the school year that fed my school psychologist soul and re-energized me. I actually got to meet the fairy godmother of social thinking - Michelle Garcia Winner and take a selfie with her! How incredibly cool, yet dorky is that?  I live for exciting moments of dork and I will not be shamed by this!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Summer Vacation ... Finally!

Wednesday June 25th was officially my first day of summer vacation and I am beyond thrilled to be home. I can finally turn my attention away from the grind of school work - which continued until the very end of my last day as I  frantically entered in BASC scores into my scoring program.

With the beginning of summer comes new challenges for me. I am going to be teaching my first graduate class and while I'm thrilled to bits about the prospect of doing so, I'm also managing a fair amount of nervous anticipation.  I expect teaching will be like presenting, but with presentations there are no papers to grade, no rubrics to develop and definitely no attendance policies to uphold.  These are things I worry about people!

I'm spending my first Saturday morning pulling together my lesson plan. Thanks to a few of my twitter friends - Dr. Steven Shaw and Dr. L, I have some directions for my new academic journey.  I'm determined to have every single minute of my 3.3 hour class accounted for. I'm hoping for engaged students who want to converse and discuss the subject as much as I want to share my enthusiasm for it.

Happy Summer to all!

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

While interviewing for your school psychologist interview, make sure to interview the district too!

image via prsjobs.com
Last week Dr. Rebecca Branstetter  of "Notes from the School Psychologist" fame, posted a question from a reader on her facebook page seeking questions recent interviewees were asked on their interviews so that he/she could be better prepared for their own interview.  If you're in the middle of getting ready for your own interview, you should definitely check out the page and the responses provided. But it's not enough to know what to say, you also need to know what to ask.

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