Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Kids need to move.

Image from Varier furniture
 I've lost count of how many times I've mentioned to parents, teachers and peers that children cannot be expected to sit completely still all school day long.  When I'm called into a classroom to conduct an observation of a student, not only am I conducting an observation of another typical peer, but I am also conducting an observation of the teacher. I note how many times the teacher moves across the room, how many sips of water the teacher takes in between talking, how many times the teacher changes the position of his/her body in response to some stimulus in the class.  I've found that the teachers who have the most successful students and come to me with the least amount of concerns are the teachers who let their students move.

Monday, October 20, 2014

What bores you?


Sitting in a meeting where I am not a stakeholder bores the living daylights out of me! These are the meetings that I am invited as a the school psychologist to fill a slot - not because I have anything to give, but because I bear the mantle of school psychologist. 

Have you ever sat in one of those meetings where nothing seems to be happening and everything around you is just devoid of refreshment. There are the meetings when even the words coming out of your own mouth are dusty and dead.

Those are the meetings I look like this on the outside

but I really feel like this

These are the meetings I hate, because I get bored. And when I'm bored, there is absolutely nothing more painful than trying to stay attentive.  I look out the window, count the teeth I can see in the mouth of the person speaking, balance my budget, plan out my week at home and in school, think of what I am going to make for dinner, think about what I actually want for dinner, think of everything I'd rather be doing than sitting in this boring dry, absolutely meaningless meeting!

Has that ever happened to you?  

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Friday, October 17, 2014

How does your practice reflect you?

I am a singer. Not professionally, I just sing all the time. My children will tell you I sing All . The . Time! It's my thing - I love music. When I'm in my car, I'm that crazy lady who's doing a full breakdance session in the driver's seat. When I provided counseling sessions, my students got used to me humming a tune, playing some music, singing down the halls on my way to pick them up. 

In some of my groups, I let the children pick music to listen to - I had rules about explicit stuff and what not. Some days we had jam sessions, other days we just had Jazz in the background. I learned on the days I listened to Jazz that "modern music has words now Ms. S". 

My singing gives me an in with my kiddos at school. Music is the universal language that I find transcends all problems, all cultures, all peoples. It's a language I speak fluently and its reflective of me in all aspects of my life. 

What part of your practice is unique to you? 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Solitude, a welcome burden?

Language has created the word "loneliness" to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word "solitude" to express the glory of being alone - Paul Tillich

Starting a new job is exciting, at least for me. I've always enjoyed the challenge of starting over, taking what I've learned and creating a new version of myself - better, stronger faster than the previous one.  Based on the reviews I've received so far in my new role, I'm succeeding in this endeavor. Yay me!  

What I'm dealing with now, is getting past the "loneliness" that comes with making a change in jobs.  I spent the last three years getting to know the people I worked with. I found a grove not just in my job, but in the relationships that I maintained.  When you start over, you plunge yourself back into the frigid waters of solitary existence until you find a connection with someone that you can grasp onto. I have no real bonds formed with any of my teachers; I'm still the outsider looking in on a family dinner where jokes are shared, looks interpreted and deep laughter is understood by everyone but me.

Since I took the plunge and headed to a new district, I'm neck deep in the aforementioned icy waters, but I'm in no hurry to yank myself out of them just yet.  While I've not really mastered managing the loneliness, what I'm enjoying now is my solitude.  Ever since I started my new role, I've found myself more productive, more focused and at first, I attributed it to my being a super school psychologist naturally. But then I really gave it some thought and I realized that solitude affords me the opportunity to focus on my work. I plan my days better, I multi-task less and dedicate more brain power to the completion of things. I'm not always called from my office (no one really knows where I am), no one stops by just to chat (no one really knows where I am) and I am in full control of my calendar and time, well for the most part - I'm still invited to several meetings.  When I feel the need to chat, I walk out of my office and go talk to someone, usually my poor TEAM chairperson, or I find one of my students to play a game with.  I choose when to break my solitude.  It's very empowering. 

I fully expect the status quote to change, however for now, I will enjoy the glory of being alone. 

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Coffee - my not-so-clinical relationship with Java, a non-sequitur post.

A friend of mine who is a school psychologist like me told me a few months ago that she was giving up coffee. I blacked out for a second and when I came to, she was extolling the virtues of tea and all its health benefits. It was hard to take her seriously.

Actually to be quite honest, I love both tea and coffee. Each beverage has a special place in my heart.

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