Thriving School Psych Thriving Students

School Psychology Awareness Week:Wednesdaythursdayfriday

How appropriate that in School Psychology Awareness Week (SPAW!) I didn’t have any time to write anything until Saturday afternoon. Indeed, it was a long Wednesdaythursdayfriday this week. Being a school psychologist is kind of like taking a tour of Europe in 5 days. As in, if its Tuesday, this must be my elementary school, and if its Wednesday, I must be in my middle school. Many times, it is all Wednesdaythursdayfriday to me though. If I didn’t have my iPhone I would die of executive functioning overload trying to get everywhere I’m supposed to be.

ANYHOO, since Wednesdaythursdayfriday was all one day, here are the high and low-lights:

Cold Pricklies

-One of my little poppits lost her English Language Development support intervention because the gal who was working with her got held up at gunpoint outside of the school and (not surprisingly) has not ever come back. I don’t blame her if she never does.

-Everyone is getting sick. The kids, the teachers, the parents. Sick. Sick. Sick. And now I’m really channeling Emma from Glee with my giant antibacterial hand sanitizer and obsessive hand washing. I cannot get sick. I have too much to do. So I pop Vitamin-C and never share a pen with anyone. It’s not very collegial, but I don’t care. I know my pens are safe. Perhaps I can install an apparatus in my office doorway like they have at the airport security where it puffs air on your whole body, only it would be puffing Lysol? I am full of great ideas this week (see Nose Scarf idea from Tuesday).

-Speaking of climate control…I have 3 reports I had to finish this week. I finished one and a half and have to write the rest on my weekend. One problem was that I could see my breath as I typed the reports in my office and I couldn’t focus. I did think to bring mittens, but they are very slippery to type with. I feel another invention coming on (or a trip to Target for a space heater).

-One of my older yoots I’ve been counseling for 2 years got expelled from school for possessing and selling drugs on campus. We have been talking for two years about ways to avoid turning into his father, brother, and uncle and every cousin in gangs. He is a talented musician and we were working so hard on planning a life outside of crime and gangs. It’s so insidious and rage making to me how hard it is to break the cycle.

Warm Fuzzies

-One of my “frequent flyers” to the principal’s office last year hasn’t been all year! He got recognized at our support staff meeting. His reason for improving? “Well, you know how sometimes kids just mature? That’s me.” I die.

– People actually attended my evening presentation on bullying. On a GLEE night, mind you. That’s dedication. I wove the relational aggression in Glee into the talk, to ease the pain of missing it. Thank goodness for TiVo. Loved loved loved Glee on Tuesday. I aspire to dress like the counselor, Emma. I also aspire to only have one school and a plush office with awesome brochures like hers.

-PTA bought one of my schools lunch on a day I had failed to bring my lunch and was frantically wondering all morning how far I’d have to drive to get a lunch not at a liquor store because nothing else is near my school. Had a hot meal at school for the first time in ages.

-One of my most…erm….dramatic poppits is really losing it this semester. I’m on year three of counseling with her. She is always focused and kind during session, and then she lets loose in the big world. The other day, she was kicked out of her class and she came to me and asked if she could “do mindfulness”. We did almost 30 minutes of deep breathing and visualization and at the end, she said, “Okay, I can go back to class, I feel like normal me again.” And after reflecting on my week, full of ups and downs, I hold on to these small victories and warm fuzzy moments with students to feel like normal school psychologist me again for next week’s adventures.

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Comments on School Psychology Awareness Week:Wednesdaythursdayfriday

  1. Plummy says:

    I work as an assistant at a private school, so my experience is much different than yours, but I always appreciate hearing about your experiences. Thank you for sharing.

  2. You need some wristies. And maybe some Tubies (newer item). Invented by a KID, yes, they are PERFECT for teachers. I bought some for myself and my mom because we were constantly working on awards long after the head went off in our classrooms…. and they got so much attention, we ended up going a group order for the whole school. Bonus- they sent a cute book for the school library about starting a business as a kid.

    Get the original whatever length you'd like, I had two pairs and washed them weekly during cold and flu season at school, I still have them now. On days when I could see my breath, I preferred the long length, the short on days when I was bundled up in a good sweater but my hands were cold when typing. I can't stand to wear a jacket while typing OR teaching, and I'm sure as a counselor it says "I'm rushing out the door!" to a student who needs your services. And sometimes a scarf is great, and sometimes it is falling into your report while you are trying to write, etc., Keep 'em in whatever bag you take with you to every school site, and you'll always be prepared.

    Also handy for recharging at the park when it's sunny but not warm (er, nearly every day in SF?)

  3. Rachel says:

    May I ask how it is that you actually counsel kids? Where I live, it's made very clear that we EDUCATE, we do NOT therapize, no matter how much the kid needs it. The most we're allowed to do is inform the parents about various mental health resources available in their community.

  4. Rebecca says:

    @Rachel: We do social-emotional counseling as it relates to school. So most of my students I counsel have behavioral challenges that get in the way of learning, or anxiety/depression/social stress. We usually refer out for family work or more clinically complex cases (though having a clinical psych license and school psych license, I sometimes take complex ones if the family cannot access mental health services outside the school.)

    Perhaps the credential in California is more broad than where you are? I'd be interested where you are that limits your ability to do counseling…

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