Friday, January 30, 2015

Work-Life Balance on a Snow Day... or two!

Forgive Wechsler for I have sinned!
It's been 8 days since my last evaluation and I am finding I am not particularly sad about it. It's been 4 days since I went into the office and I'm yet to give that more than a passing thought.

Yes, Blizzard Juno blew into town and made everything stop in my part of the East Coast.  Schools closed, businesses shut down, states of emergency were declared and everyone hunkered down for a few days at home of watching television, drinking hot chocolate and entertaining ourselves while we lived in a swirling snow globe for a little bit.

But then the snow stopped and the world was supposed to go back to normal.But for me it didn't.  I've been out of work at home for the past 4 days. And two of them without my own children at home (what?!).

So I've been writing reports, watching webinars, doing laundry, cleaning my dishwasher (*shudder* - if you own one, there are some horrible realities awaiting you when you figure out ALL the places you need to clean) and playing fetch with my dog in the snow.

Yes I know this means that I will be in school until July, but does it really matter?  I am still going to get the bulk of my summer off to hang out at home.  My testing calendar flexes to account for these days and my meetings are going to be rescheduled and they will take place, so there are worse things that could happen I guess.

I have had an impromptu vacation week (thanks Juno!) and I'm looking forward to another one coming up in a couple of weeks.

Stay warm my frozen New England School Psych peeps!

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Cold Day

It's going to 20 degrees in the sun tomorrow, with a wind chill advisory of -15 degrees. This inclement weather I learned is a "Cold day".

I've had snow days, ice days, and even hurricane days, but I've never had a cold day before.  Thanks to the arctic freeze blanket that dropping down on New England, my school called it quits and cancelled the school day for tomorrow. I really don't need a cold day right now.

There was a student I needed to assess that I won't be able to get to now. I'm in this student's school only one day a week and for the past month, each time I managed to wrangle time to fetch the student for testing, the student was of course absent. My 30-day evaluation deadline is looming ominously over my head.  I really don't need a cold day right now.

I need to sit and meet with teachers so that I can work on the goals I set for myself in my educator evaluation. Being a traveling school psychologist with a galore of meetings to attend and a bonanza of assessments to administer, the task of working on my goals has been roughly shoved to the bottom of my to-do-list and the paper I printed my goals on to provide me with a physical reminder has taken up a crumpled and apparently now permanent residence in the bottom of my computer bag. I really don't need a cold day right now.

I found out yesterday that there's a student in my school who has to walk 2 miles to school every day the student's address lies just within the border of my school, but the same address is not serviced by our school's transportation.  A FUBAR situation that's mired in the sticky webs of bureaucracy and red-tape.

I'm okay with having a cold day tomorrow.

Image credit - google search

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

We need a Standardized test for social studies


Yeah! I said it


Stop throwing things at me! Here me out!

Based on what I'm seeing and hearing in my schools, it appears that no one seems to care about social studies anymore. All I hear is ...

"Well since it's not tested on test exams, it really doesn't matter how the student does"

"Perhaps we could shorten the social studies block to 30 mins a week. Then we'll have time to teach the reading and math curriculum".

A little while ago, I was in a meeting where the notion of doing away with social studies all together was briefly considered. 

WTH??!! And I use the most polite acronym possible. Is it just me or are you hearing this in your neck of the woods as well?! How on earth did we get here? Since when is Social studies a non-essential? It's one of the last avenues we have left of teaching children about the world outside of their homes, their towns, their country! 

Perhaps if there was a standardized test for this subject, we'll care about it again. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Things to be thankful for...

IVery often as public educators when we talk about our jobs, it's not in the fondest of terms. One would think we're not happy with what we do, but I know for the majority of us, we really do love our jobs. Are we all thankful for our jobs? I'm going to step out on the ledge and say yes, because in light of all the people we  interract with at work and in life, our jobs ground us in ways many things in life cannot. I am thankful for my job as a school psychologist because:

1. It pays my bills 

2. It's incredibly rewarding

3. It's one I specifically chose to do

4. It's appreciated 

5. It's needed 

I list those in no particular order simply because each point I made is more or less relevant each day. 

Today as I prepare for the nationwide day of thanksgiving, I would be remiss not to note that I am truly grateful for what I do! 

Happy thanksgiving my school psych peeps!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

It's right about that time

It's November 13th and Thanksgiving break is only a few days away and I'm annoyed. It's the time of year where the constant holiday interruptions make it difficult to get into a testing rhythm. My November calendar has been shot to shreds by intermittent days off and suddenly my testing deadlines are casting ominous shadows over me. 

This is also the time of year when I start using sick days as the change in elements starts to test for weakness in all our immune systems. So that just adds more insult to injury. I've already been called home twice for a child throwing up. Now the heat's on in my house and I have to fear the dreaded cold/flu season.   I would like to say as a school psych parent I'm at a disadvantage, having harborers of disease in my home, but I've come to realize there's no advantage or disadvantage to be had. As a parent, my sick days are for when my kids get sick. My school psych friends with no children  use their sick days because they're the ones getting sick! I've built up an immunity it appears over the years to little kid cooties. 

It's all well and good for now. I'm ahead of my testing schedule - I repeat for now, but I can feel the build up of stress and aggravation. I woke up with a headache this morning and I can feel it in my bones, it's going to be one of those days. Here's to making it to Christmas break same and sound! 

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