Frau Psychologist!

Every school district has THAT psychologist. THAT psychologist who everyone is hoping will just retire already. Everyone is just waiting a few more years for that incompetent person to leave. The mere mention of THAT psychologist’s name strikes fear and disgust in people’s hearts. The other day, a colleague said the name of an incompetent employee we know and I reflexively repeated her name in a low voice, with one squinty, suspicious eye. She laughed at my Pavlovian response to her name, as it is well known this person should not be around children, let alone be responsible for any portion of a child’s mental health.

My visceral negative reaction to this person’s name is not unlike the scene in Young Frankenstein in which every time they say Frau Blucher’s name, the horses whinny up in fear. My colleague and I had a good time whinnying that day.

Do watch the whole clip. The last 5 seconds are the best.

I have had to work with this Frau Psychologist (Niiiiiiihiiiii!)* before. She is presently still employed in an unnamed district and is approaching her 6, maybe 7,000th year as a “school psychologist.” I put that in quotations, because she does not resemble what I think of as a school psychologist. Some of her infractions include:

1) Writing incoherent reports that use 3 different kids’ names in them and read like this: Derek’s scores indicate that Franklin is in the above average range with below average skills. Casey showed poor reading skills, along with excellent reading comprehension. Results indicate that . No, I didn’t forget to finish typing, that was her conclusion.

2) Not having a basic understanding that a kid can be behind in reading or math and it is not due to a disability. A teenager she tested had just came from Mexico two weeks prior to testing, did poorly on reading in a language he didn’t know, and she concluded he was learning disabled and he went in special education.

3) Incessant noisy gum chewing. Ok, that doesn’t make you a bad school psychologist, but it sure is annoying *smak* to *smak* listen *smak* to *smak* that *smak* in *smak* between *smak* *smak* *smak* words.

4) Frau Psychologist (Niiiiiihiiiii!)* also angers easily and is toxic in every meeting. Once, when asked to contribute money to the social fund for a psychologist who was ill and in the hospital, she argued that she shouldn’t have to because no one got her anything when she was sick last year. Nice empathy.

5) As you can imagine, any psychologist who followed in her footsteps had a boatload of unethical, incompetent assessments to re-do. When a child was due for re-testing, I would cautiously open up the file, say a silent prayer she didn’t do the last testing, and then of course, have to re-do it entirely and tell the parents that we were just kidding about that learning disability.

How can it be that such incompetent people continue to shame our profession? Does this happen in other professions? Are there Frau Accountants, Frau Teachers and Herr Human Resource Guy? How are these people not fired???

All I know is I came across a Frau Psychologist* report the other day and inadvertently whinnied out loud and reared my arms up in manner of horse, and then had a lot of explaining to do to my co-workers around me. Maybe soon I will be the crazy psychologist people hope they don’t have to deal with. Then, it will be officially time to retire.

*Niiiiiiihiiiiii! Horse whinnying sound.

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Comments on Frau Psychologist!

  1. How do we prepare our “new” school psychologists never to become “that” psychologists?

    Warn and help me guide them…

    Dr. Silvia C. Pastor

  2. Dr. P,

    I wish I knew! What I do know is I get tons of emails from new psychologists asking for information on how to cope with those difficult first years, so I think having colleagues to bounce ideas off of and consult with is key.

  3. We had one of those. Her social skills couldn’t be modeled. They didn’t exist.

    In the staff room, she’d microwave, then eat her lunch, a concoction of rotten fish and putrefied vegetable matter, to the incredulous stares of other professionals on the verge of vomiting.

    She left not an aura, but a rank smell about the school after a visit.

    Her retirement was cause for rejoicing for all, not just other school psychologists.

    There ought to be psychological screening tests for people considering a career in school psychology. (Teaching, too, for that matter!)

  4. Hugh,

    Gross. She must have been related my gum-smacking lady. I kept wondering year after year how she could go through an evaluation and not get fired.

  5. In all fairness, now that I think about it, she was a psychometrist, or whatever you call those people that specialize in testing and reporting of data.

    So I guess she didn’t need the social skills of a counselor, but someone should have clued her in about the food thing! (Nobody had the chutzpah, including yours truly. We were all awed by her status! :D)

  6. Anonymous says:

    I could read your blog all day long! I know a few too many of these…and they are not all old! I may still give a copy of Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People" to one particular Frau!

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is HILARIOUS! Just look at this positively. You get to be the magical School Psychologist that gets to tell parents, "Guess what! I CURED your child! He/She no longer has severe MR!" You undoubtedly will have a long line of parents & administrators who worship you and will give you lots of presents at Christmas!

  8. NANCY RUIZ says:

    Oh, yes!! There are a lot of Frau teachers!!! A lot of times, it's not the kids that need our evaluation or therapy, it's their Frau Teachers that have no empathy at all, or don't know how to be kind, interesting and fun in the classroom. I know they don't always follow the recommendations on our reports, but I wonder if they at least read them!!!

  9. MKK says:

    Apparently the Frau is a clone. She misdiagnosed my daughter on the east coast (yes, of MR).

    Thank heaven for independent evals.

  10. Momma Kin says:

    As a school psychologist who has been bullied by passive aggressive administrators when I was an intern and entry level school psych, I can tell you that some of "those" psychologists may have been kicked around and bullied into committing gross incompetence. Luckily, I moved on and then continued my education in a doctoral program, where I found new mentors. The social skills appear to be non-existent on both ends from what I read here. I'm surprised that you would tear a peer you work with down in your public blog, and even admit to making fun of her in a meeting with another peer. She clearly feels slighted and overlooked by peers (she was in the hospital and no one acknowledged her illness with a card/flowers). You say the way to combat becoming "that" psychologist is by having helpful peers to talk with. Perhaps you could have a conversation with this woman and see if you can help her grow in her twilight years as a school psychologist. If that doesn't help, then speak to the director or supervisor about your concerns. Public bashing for a giggle doesn't improve anything but your blog hits. This passive aggressive bullying behavior and smacks with ageism. Shame on you!

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