Thriving School Psych Thriving Students

Response to My Own Intervention

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was going to try to infuse a Response to Intervention (RtI) model at my middle school. I was going to step back and look at the wiring of my school and its interventions to help students early on, instead of putting out electrical fires by responding once the student is doing so poorly s/he needs the school psychologist.

6:16 am: Awake by dog licking face. Remember that today is the day I will begin RtI at my middle school. Let the primary prevention begin!!!

8:00 am: Morning workout. Lug 8758947839 lbs of testing materials, files, and computer to District Office.

8:15 am: Score teacher and parent surveys from assessment on district computer because there are only two computers in whole district that have this software.

8:30 am: Drive to Random Elementary School, not assigned middle school, because was assigned extra testing case. Cute school on the inside, homeless man sleeping in bushes on outside. Find out that previously scheduled appointment is not going to work because there is a statewide writing test. Write note to special education teacher that I will be back in 2 days. Principal snorts, “Good luck getting a hold of her, we haven’t seen her in 2 weeks.”

8:45 am: Arrive at middle school with 8758947839 lb bags. Kid in hall says, “Dr. Bell! You look like a bag lady. But your pants match your eyes!” Ask receptionist for key to my office, which I am not allowed to have own copy of. Ask in Spanish in effort to immerse self in language. Accidentally called Ms. Key (la llave) Mr. Key (el llave) and am corrected. Go to office to find key doesn’t work. Locks have been re-keyed over weekend. Back to office, get new Ms. Key, and enter office.

9:15 am-11:30am: Test student who is one year overdue for his re-evaluation because he was inadvertently dropped from the special education log and has gone without services for 2 years.

11:30 am: So far, no RTI. Have forgotten all about it. Perhaps a meal will reenergize me. Have disgusting “hot pocket” I grabbed on the way out. Am reenergized.

11:36 am: Yeah, that’s right, lunch is always about 6 minutes. That’s because that hot pocket takes so long to microwave.

11:37am: Kid comes in to office to sign my “Positive Graffiti Wall” which is my own invention to channel tagging into art. Next to “I luv skool!” she writes: “Maria is a stupid ass tonta bitch who is afraid to fight me and snitches on me to the principal and her mommy!”

11:38-12:20: Discussion about what is positive ensues. Kid decides that crossing off “ass” will suffice. More discussion ensues. Giant black mark on Positive Graffiti wall, literally and figuratively.

12:20-1:00pm: Counseling session with student who is always getting in fights. Play basketball because small office freaks him out. Why did I wear heals today? And not even those Easy Spirit ones in which one could actually play basketball because I’ve seen the commercial.

1:00-2:15pm: Finish testing student. He tells me on a scale of 1-10, my testing is a “4.” School is a “1” and the only thing that is a “10” is girls and football. C’mon, wouldn’t you rather use your abstract nonverbal reasoning skills to solve a figural matrix than see a cute girl? No? Ah well, at least testing is done.

2:15-3:00pm: Counseling session with boy who has no friends “except God.” Get schooled by him on Mancala, an African board game. I just don’t get how that game works. Seems like every kid has different rules.

3:00-3:15pm: Make 3 phone calls to various district staff about absent teacher at Random Elementary School.

3:15-3:20pm: Quiet reflection on how I could conceivably call my counseling sessions an “intervention” that one could respond to. But how is it “research-based”?

3:20pm: THUD!!! BANG!!! $%*#* (expletives) outside of office. Counselee #1 and amigas have placed boy in recycling bin. Bin has tipped over and boy is laughing, so I assume there’s no physical damage. Discussion about school behavior ensues.

3:30-4:30pm: Student Success Team (SST) meeting. Surely this is RtI! Except it’s all in Spanish and I obtain 62% of the information and can share 13% of my thoughts. Llave didn’t come up once, so I couldn’t show off my acquisition of appropriate gendered article. I think the interventions were: student will do homework, teacher will check if he has written it down for the day, mom will check in with teacher, student will read 30 minutes a night, and will remove his hat in class. Maybe I should go in and get a baseline of hat-wearing, chart it, and graph it with a trend line for next SST.

4:30pm: Drive back to district office to pick up test kit from another psychologist because there are only 6 of this kind for 45 psychologists.

5:00pm: Return home to dog, licking face. Sigh.

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Comments on Response to My Own Intervention

  1. Matthew says:

    Dr. Bell,

    I love your blog. I tend to google everything and am currently a school psychologist intern that was looking for a little inspiration. I can't help but wonder if this was literally your day with RtI or if there was exaggeration for the sake of humor. HILARIOUS BTW. Keep going strong. What else would we do for a living?


  2. Rebecca says:

    @Matthew: Sadly, no. That was all real! But it keeps us on our toes, right? 😉

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