Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Back to School


A week ago I started to conquer my final obstacle between now and graduation: the internship. In my third, and final year, I am to complete a 1200+ hour internship at an approved school/supervisor. During this internship I am to make every effort to learn all the nuances of the job, complete evaluations, run groups, provide individual counseling, serve on student support teams, communicate with families, become a positive member of the school community, consult with teachers, and [single-handedly] work towards a preventative model to support students (rather than “wait to fail”). After thinking of all the hats we wear as school psychologists, I have one phrase for you: oy vey!

Sidenote: The recent increase in my use of the phrase “oy vey” is the result of a summer spent with a child who used it to express his displeasure of group activities/ expectations…which happened constantly.

With the long list of tasks to accomplish that I listed above, I thought it would be a genius idea to move to a new state entirely and try to learn their way of doing things. I have always been somewhat of an overachiever. Why not torture myself during what should be, theoretically, the easiest year of grad school?

After arriving at my placement, a high school, I was informed that things are much “slower paced” and “more laidback” than the things I was used to at the elementary level. Man, my supervisor wasn’t kidding! She said it would take a few weeks to get ourselves up and running, but I had no reason to believe her. In my other placements we were off within a day or so of kids arriving. This year I have had time to settle in, get acquainted, and take it all in. I set up my office, organized my belongings, and actually had time to familiarize myself with the state specific laws/processes (can you believe it!?).

For example, today I spent time on the State Department of Education website to peruse their use of RtI and the special education process. I spent yesterday typing up some fabulous forms from The School Psychologist’s Survival Guide by Dr. Branstetter (see my review here).

So, as I look over the list of evaluations we have for the year (under 20!) I see I will have plenty of time on my hands. Now comes the challenge of using the many other hats we have as school psychologists, rather than simply being “The Assessor.”

I should say that I don’t expect this downtime to last. I know I’ll have vistors knocking on my door, plenty of parents to call and meet with, lots of data to collect, etc., BUT for now I am enjoying the free time

Until next thyme,

Erika

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