Thursday, February 22, 2018

What do School Psychologists do?

One of the questions I often get from those studying school psychology, or just wondering about the profession, is "What exactly do you do?"  Although the way schools in my area are designed, require a lot of responsibilities, I also like it, because there is flexibility in the job, and no one day is ever the same.  So without further ado-

Conduct Psychoeducational Evaluations
I test all students that are being considered for special education services, as well as do triennial evaluations, and all in between.

Write IEP Goals & Objectives
I write goals and objectives for social skills/counseling for all students that get these services on their IEPs.

Design Behavior Plans
I write behavior plans for students in need, usually in collaboration with classroom teachers.  In my last district, I wrote FBA's, but I don't have to do that now!

Case Manage/Administrative Duties
As a school psych, I case manage all 504 plans, meaning all the paperwork, meetings, etc. that goes along with them.  I also have a lot of administrative duties tied to the RTI behavior process.

Attend Meetings
I spend A LOT of time in meetings.  PPT meetings, 504 meetings, meetings for students in intervention, parent meetings, internal team meetings, you name it, I've been to that meeting.

Provide social skills/counseling services to individuals and groups
To balance out all those meetings, I spend a good chunk of my time providing those services outlined on IEPs and 504 plans.  I see some students weekly, some twice weekly, and others every day!

Consult with Teachers & Parents
When I was in graduate school, I enjoyed my class on consultation, but I didn't really get the importance of consultation until I started working on my own.  I love giving suggestions to teachers about dealing with different students, but I also enjoy helping teachers and parents come up with ways they can help students.

Manage Student Behaviors 
Day to day, I am the go to person for behaviors of students I have on my caseload, and regular education students in the school.  Student crying for no reason?  Fighting at recess?  Needs a break from peers?  I'm your go-to gal.

And that, in a nutshell, is what I spend most of my time doing in my current role as a school psych.  Since I know already that this varies, I'd love to hear what everyone else does!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

We are the helpers

I was not even four months into being a School Psychologist when the tragic event in another elementary school, a few towns over, changed my outlook on my career, and all aspects of my life.  Our jobs as School Psychologists, counselors, teachers, and listening ears, is more important than ever.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

On balancing it all...

When I started writing on this blog, and creating things for websites about these things 2 years ago, my career was my life.  Which was totally awesome at the time, and the "season of life" that I was in. I got to work an hour before I had to be there, and stayed late every day.  As a new career psychologist, I was passionate about creating things that I could use in my practice.  I loved my job.

Then, I became a Mom.  I was still, of course, a school psychologist, but now I was a wife, Mom, sister, friend, etc. and a school psychologist, and Momming takes up a lot of time.  My priority quickly changed from my career to my child.  On maternity leave, I was able to check out of the office easier than I thought I would.  When I went back to work, I was able to leave at the end of the school day (not hours later), with less guilt than I would have thought.

My happy place

I still love being a school psychologist.  I think it is the best job, and especially the best job for a working Mom.  But the truth is, my family has grown even more now, and I'm choosing to dedicate less of my free time to school psychology right now, and that also means this blog.

So maybe I will still share some of my school psychology experience, maybe I'll shift to more of a working Mom perspective, but I just wanted to give an update.  I hope you continue to use the resources here!