Thriving School Psych Thriving Students

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:

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. 

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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Comments on Back to School Tips for School Psychologists

  1. Trisha says:

    I am beginning my internship on Monday! So excited! We read your survival guide in our seminar class, and it will definitely be in one of my bags as I begin this next chapter!

  2. Maybe this is why I sell 31… because it's all about totes and bags… and since my job is carrying a lot of bags, it just makes sense. Alas, I feel as though I wrote this blog in my head and then you typed it for me. Being a school psych with a toddler is so much fun that I catch myself seeing if he can put his mega blocks in the same design as mine… or find myself pointing to a clock and saying "look, it tells time!"

    Keep up your amazingness. Yes, that's a word in my dictionary.

  3. Kristina says:

    So excited to see a new post from you! I start internship next week and just finished reading your survival guide today. I've also been reading the heck out of old posts on this blog during slow days at my summer job (which are most days). Thanks for sharing so much insight and humor over the past several years!!

  4. Jessie Vera says:

    I didn't know the life of school psychologist was that tough for y'all. The article was very funny and a lot of fun to read. I am studying psychology in school and I'm really enjoying it. I'm still not sure where I want to take my degree but I will into school psychology a little bit more.

    Jessie |

  5. My 4 year old says that Muma "teaches big people how to work on their heads." Then she drew me a picture of Mumma's "crazy, crazy work."
    Sounds accurate to me- gotta love middle school!

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