Back to School…Gak!

    

     I had my first B2S (Back to School) dream a few nights ago: I was trying to
organize the files of the students with overdue assessments and I could
only find 2 out of the 40 files I needed.* Last night, I had another: I dreamed
the copier wasn’t working and I had an IEP meeting to get to and my report
wasn’t copied. I suppose “dream” is the wrong word choice in this situation.
Yes, it’s annual B2S anxiety nightmare season! I imagine my sub-c saying
something like, “Guuuuuuurl…you better get yourself ready for the drama of a
new school year.” So here we go. I am readying myself in the following ways, and invite those who are trying to get back in the spirit of B2S to join me:
1)   
Go to Target. I know, it’s not very
zen to put “obtain materialistic goods during B2S sales” as the top coping
strategy, but I do actually find myself very zen and centered in Target. Perhaps
it’s that mesmerizing bulls eye logo that does it. Only problem is, I go in for pencils and come out with a giant cart worth of stuff. That bulls eye hypnotizes me—I. Need. New. Curtains. And. Everything. I. See. I. Will. Obey. You. Swirly. Red. Friend.
 
This year, I plan to have self-control
though. I will only purchase a few new play therapy toys
(because if I play Uno one more time, I swear, I’ll lose it), one or two new
school psychologist costumes (look out, Sister Wife 3, I’m jacking your style),
and one zillion pens and pencils (of which one will remain in my possession by
the end of the school year.) Oh, and maybe also some new curtains. The bulls eye
doesn’t lie. I need them.
2)   
Pick ONE New Tool to Use During the School Year to Improve Your Practice. After going to conferences, doing professional developments, or
reading about new techniques and trends on Twitter and blogs, I get excited to
implement them all in my daily work as a school p. But then, I have days like these
and it’s all I can do to not tear my hair out (not a good look) and get one
little thing done. So this year, I plan to add only one new tool to improve my
practice. This year’s winner? Integrating a strengths-based assessment tool
into my testing battery. I am tired of my reports having 13 pages of what a kid
can’t do and then at the end, a wimpy section that says something like,
“Strengths include working well one-on-one!”
The winning assessment I am adding
is also FREE. Can you believe it? It will need to be free once I accidently
spend Baby B’s college fund at Target. The free assessment is the VIA Strength Survey for Children.
It is based on the research that there are 24 “signature
strengths” that can be tapped into to promote happiness. And let’s face it, our
little friends struggling in school could use a little happiness infusion from
time to time, by building their strengths, especially when there are horrible moments when a parent can’t think of any strengths.  This FREE survey is a great little counseling tool
as well, to have kiddos think of new ways to use their strengths. They have a
survey for adults too if you want to take it just for funsies.**
3)   
Read Some Kid or Young Adult
Fiction
. Now I haven’t read a book since “What To Expect When You’re
Expecting” and “The Happiest Baby on the Block” (unless you count board books, where it is clear Baby B is is making text-to-text connections between her Boynton books). So this recommendation is exciting for me. Now you might want to get a Kindle for this
rec, if you’re prone to being embarrassed for reading Captain
Underpants or Twilight in public. Truth is though, most people have
now read the Hunger Games and such, so go for it. I find that being up to date
on the latest book helps me in counseling situations when kids are hesitant to
talk about their problems, but they can relate to characters in books and talk
freely. I once worked with a girl who refused to talk about
her eating disorder, but she asked me to read “The Pretties,” which has themes
about body image in it, and we were able to talk about the character’s feelings. Slowly but surely, we were able to talk directly about the girl’s feelings.
Plus, some YA fiction is pretty good. I find that I enjoy how cognitively complex
they are compared to Baby B’s board books. 
4)   
Read My Book. What? You didn’t
actually expect me to get through an entire post without shamelessly plugging
The School Psychologist’s Survival Guide, now did you? Well, since I subject
you to this all the time, how about this book is on me this time? Yea! A B2S Giveway!
To enter, you can a) make a comment
on this blog or the Facey Face fan page with one thing you are doing to prepare
for B2S or b) share this post on Facey or Twitter (be sure to tag Notes From the
School Psychologist Blog or @studentsgrow so I know). I will put the names in a list
and then use a random number generator to pick the winner. Good luck!
*I am not tech savvy at all, so I’m pretty dang proud of myself for making a meme. AND for knowing what a meme is. 
**My top strength is apparently
“Forgiveness and Mercy.” Guess that’s why I am always returning each school
year pretending I wasn’t a psychological punching bag all year long the prior year. My how
summer vacay erases your memory…Even though my sub-c knows better. 

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Comments on Back to School…Gak!

  1. celyn says:

    Oh wow, exciting! I am preparing for school psych internship by preparing for the Praxis II and reading a couple of mental health practice books recommended by a clinical psychologist friend. And if I don't win the giveaway, I am buying your book. I've read through the preview on Amazon, and I can see it's going to be invaluable. Hopefully I will win and can take it on the plane with me to visit my brand new nephew later this month! /gush

  2. Claire says:

    I'm brushing up on my Spanish!

  3. Jenskaroo says:

    Personally, I'm still in denial that it's B2S time already. In my neck of the woods I've been seeing commercials since approximately July 2nd. . . So I've had to fight really hard to keep it out of my head & enjoy my summer. Anyway, now that it's finally here, one thing that I'm going to have to do is respond to some work emails. I logged into my account for the first time all summer yesterday & found that one of my principals is already asking about kids that we need to need to discuss with our SAT. . . Methinks it is going to be a looooooong year.

  4. Claire H. says:

    Well, I recently moved out-of-state so obtaining my state licensure and finding a new school psych position is my main preparation for B2S (fingers crossed!).

  5. Jen says:

    I'm reading YA fiction too! And I'd also like to keep up with music. I'm so suprised how quickly grown ups become out of the loop haha!

  6. Jacque says:

    I'm starting my internship at a high school next week (eek), and I'm getting ready by cataloging my closet, taking pics of all outfits that qualify as appropriate, and then probably going shopping this afternoon. New to your blog, but just found and read your posts about Sears and gang costumes (lol), freaking out a little more now. Anyway, would love to win a copy of your book!

  7. I'm busy trying to learn the ropes in a new Special Education Cooperative for my B2S craziness – and, thanks to you, have learned about some awesome new tools to use this year, compliments of Authentic Happiness. Thanks!

  8. Anonymous says:

    To get ready for b2s I have been reading up on your blog. Since I will be starting my first School Psychologist job this year I thought you would be the best blogger to read up on.
    Thanks,
    karyloo@hotmail.com

  9. Sarah says:

    I would like to pay more attention to executive functions and cultivating them in students and staff. This springs, at least in large aprt, from attending the excellent presentation by George McCloskey at the NASP Summer Conference.

  10. bt says:

    I'm already back to school (for the first time, it's my intern year). Aside from panicking, I'm getting my office organized so I can find things when the craziness increases!

  11. Brenda says:

    Tomorrow is my very first day of my very first job out of school and I don't quite know where to begin preparing. However, I did purchase my first coffee maker, and I plan to take inventory of my resources tomorrow then figure out what would be most useful to print/buy. Wish me luck!

  12. Megan C. says:

    Pick me! Pick me!

    In preparation for the start of school, I'm reviewing my old notes from my internship. I'm supervising my intern, so I'm trying to remember those fears and challenges I faced during my internship year. Your book would be a great resource for the both of us.

  13. Megan C. says:

    Pick me! Pick me!

    In preparation for the beginning of school, I'm going through my old internship notes. I'll be supervising an intern this year, so I'm trying to remember the fears/challenges I faced during my internship. Your book will be a great resource for both of us.

  14. Please check out my new blog, School Psych Grad! My first post was yesterday and overall it will be a great resource for those who are still going through our programs! http://schoolpsychgrad.blogspot.com/

  15. Lisa says:

    I am preparing for back to school by trying to figure out my first school psychologist job! (and it would be so helpful to have your book!)

    Dr. Lisa Peterson

  16. msp24 says:

    I've read a few young adult books to prepare for the new school year as well. I am also updating some of my descriptions for subtests for reports to make it more parent friendly. My goal is improve on my ease in administering the NEPSY II.

  17. Jessica Atieh says:

    This fall, I will be starting my 3rd year in grad school and will be completing my internship (I am sure this brings back fond memories for you!) To prepare for B2S, or maybe for just 2S for me, I have been going through all of the resources, worksheets, and notes that I have acquired throughout schooling, and am organizing them. I'll be putting them in one (or two, or three) expandable folders that I can bring with me to my office and put next to my desk. I'll be organizing them by topics like "CBT," "Autism," "Mindfullness," "Behavior Management Plans," etc! That way, when something comes up, I can look down to my folders and see what I've got!

  18. Rachel says:

    I'm preparing by catching up on emails, scheduling meetings with parents and brainstorming ideas for in-service days. I bet your book would come in handy!

  19. Kristen says:

    I am entering into my second year as a school psychologist! After last year I learned a TON of valuable lessons. This year to prepare for B2S I am tapping into my organization passion (or OCD issues maybe to some). I am building my new caseload spreadsheets,evaluation planning spreadsheets, activity spreadsheets, and color coded organization systems. Working between four buildings requires some major planning :). I am sure your book would help me with all this hard work!!

  20. Lauren Pegg says:

    I love your blog and Facebook page! What a great idea to use the VIA for children! We had to do the adult version for graduate school, and I never even thought about it being useful to point on strengths in children to others.

    P.S. My first day of internship was yesterday and I would LOVE a copy of your book..I think it could be very helpful!

  21. Maggie says:

    I'm preparing to go back to my second year of grad school (working toward my Ed.S.) by relaxing and enjoying a few weeks off! I just finished up a Methods of Intervention course at the end of July, where I learned more about curricula and got to teach a small group in summer school. I'm excited to get back and start up with Practicum II!

  22. anicascrub says:

    im prepping for B2S by staying calm and using my fav app PSYCH TOOL on my iphone.

  23. I'm sad to say I'm getting excited to go back. One of the things i'm doing to prepare is redoing the FBA form we use to make it more user friendly and better focused on abc's. I'd love a copy of your new book btw 🙂

  24. Shoshanah M. says:

    Ok, here goes… 🙂
    To prepare for b2s ( even though I went back last Monday) I am preparing for the creation of my elementary school's first school based MTSS (RTI) team. They had yet to develop this crucial aspect and so that is my baby this year. In addition, now that we are going common core, I have to be really well versed in that so it permeates all of my trainings. No sweat! LOL

  25. Bet says:

    I've never heard of the VIA! It sounds fantastic, and will definitely be useful as I grow my knowledge and practice of "strength based assessment". Wonder if it can be used for preschool…?

  26. Bet says:

    I've never heard of the VIA, but am very interested in reading more about it! Can it be used for preschool? Always looking for help in conducting strength based assessments!

    Happy B2S!

  27. Dr, Tonya says:

    Pick me, pick me! I should get *something* for not only being first to comment on your actual site but also sharing your fantabulous meme with my fellow school psychos on FB. 🙂

    I had a chuckle at your back to school post since I've been back since 7/18. My back to school resolution this year is to not get caught up in school/bureaucratic drama. Hard to do with having 3 schools and leading the district-wide autism team…but that's what I vow. I need to find my workplace Zen after 7 years of pratice!

  28. IvyLeague says:

    I'm excited about getting your book! I'm a graduate student beginning practicum and beginning my dissertation this school year. The main thing I'm doing to prepare for B2S is trying to get organized! I love buying academic planners before the school year starts. (I'm a Target junkie as well, so I over indulge too). I use my planners to keep me on track!

  29. Anonymous says:

    I tweeted your post.& am very interested in your book.
    Cindy

  30. Lindsey says:

    Ah, I love Target B2S shopping! I also went into the Container Store the other day and they had some colorful office decor and organizational supplies that I found very enticing. I can only muster up excitement for the school year with new clothes and supplies, I hope that is normal.

  31. Terri says:

    Another entertaining blog, Rebecca!! I've got to admit, I just learned what a meme is and was pretty proud of myself! Hey – we learn something new every day!! BTW – I loved The Teachable Moment. It was one of my first books on iPad. (again feeling like a techie that I'm NOT!)

    ~TERRI

  32. nancy says:

    I'm really excited i came across your blog. It is difficult to find social topics in our profession. Looking forward to reading more!

  33. Paula H. says:

    We're sending out a back to school newsletter for parents and teachers with ideas for the first week of school. I just recently discovered your blog – love it!

  34. Carol L says:

    I attended a conference during my internship last year on Executive Functioning and left really excited about implementing some of those strategies to build planning and awareness!!

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