Thriving School Psych Thriving Students

School Psychologist Awareness Week (SPAW!)

Every. Year. I simply cannot say the acronym for School Psychologist Awareness Week without cawing it like a crow (Spaw! Spaw!). Try it. It’s fun.

That aside…

Happy School Psychologist Awareness Week!

For those not aware of what a school psychologist does, here is my cocktail party description of what a school psychologist is: “Imagine if a psychologist and a teacher had a baby. That’s a school psychologist.”

Then, if they probe further, I say: Then imagine that psychologist-teacher baby grew up and learned how to make data-based decisions about everything related to kids learning and feeling successful at school. And then she learned how to do assessment, counseling, prevention, intervention, data-analysis and statistics, case management, crisis management, and consultation with every adult a kid might come into contact with to support their learning. And she also secretly became a special education paralegal by learning how to write legally defensible psychoeducational reports. But she also tries to write useful and accessible reports that detail how kids learn, what’s getting in the way, and how to help them.

Then their eyes glaze over and I realize I’ve gone too far.

So let’s break it down and keep it simple, by hearing from some kids about what they think we do! Every year for the past few years, I’ve asked my daughter what she thinks I do for work.

Age 3: You carry a lot of purses (test kits–this was before iPad administration!)

Age 4: You type on a computer to help kids (Noooooooo! But yes.)

Age 5: Tests a kid to see how they learn. And do puzzles or something. Or learning games. (#nailedit)

I also surveyed folks on my Notes from the School Psychologist blog Fan page about what their kiddos think we do, and here were some classics:

-Brain fixer and the person responsible for making school fun!

-The lady who teaches us to have feelings!

-A hard test giver!

-The lady that reads people’s minds!

-The thumbs up lady!

-Friendship teacher!

-I don’t know, but they love kids!

So go forth this week, and be proud to be the one who loves kids, gives thumbs ups, teach kids to have all the feels, and makes school more fun. Also, read minds, that’s pretty cool too.


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