Friday, March 7, 2014

The Lighthouse Award

My first blog post was way back in June 2010. I had just graduated from Saint Michael's and was looking for a way to chronicle post-grad life. I was going to graduate school for school psychologist, but also had a passion for food. In my early posts I tried to morph my adventures in school psychology with those in the kitchen. Posts highlighting my experiences in the profession were mixed with various recipes and restaurants I tried. I was really trying to use the kitchen as my self-care outlet. However, as grad school wore on, my recipe posts became far and few between. The only constant remained my work as a school psychologist. 

After some spring cleaning in the fall to make my blog focus strictly school psychology, I have "officially" published 60 posts (61 if you count this!). I have plenty in my drafts that remain unfinished, but I hope to publish one day (re: when I have time). Posts have focused on the ups and downs in my journey as a student learning to be a school psychologist and my feelings of "fake it 'til you make it" as I struggled through my first year as an elementary school psychologist. If for nothing else, my blog has been an outlet to vent my feelings on education and the ridiculousness that can be school psychology; the positives and negatives. It is an added bonus to know that people actually read it! I'm amazed, honored, flattered, and humbled to report that I have 28,279 all time page views! Are you kidding?! 

My top posts include:

  • Praxis Exam for School Psychologists (2, 458 views)
  • Importance of Recess (895 views)
  • Book Review: School Psychologists Survival Guide (745 views)

The reason for my reflection and nostalgia is because I have been nominated for the Lighthouse Award by The Burgeoning School Psychologist. @SkoolPsychMo was one of my first blogger/Twitter friends. She has "watched" (aka read) my journey. She has been a supporter, advocate, and confidant. I LOVE when I see her posts come through in my email, so I can be sure to read about her adventures. @SkoolPsychMo always helps to build me up when I am feeling my lowest. This nomination came at the perfect time as I, once again, am feeling defeat in this first year. @SkoolPsychMo described me as: "a juggernaut disguised as a burgeoning school psychologist. She's incredibly knowledgeable, capable and awesome!" Thanks for that pick-me-up!!

The rules of the nomination are: 
  1. Display the Award certificate on your blog.
  2. Write a post and link back to the blogger that nominated you.
  3. Inform your nominees of their award nominations
  4. Share three ways that you like to help other people.
  5. There is no limit to the number of people that you can nominate.
  6.  HAVE FUN!

Three ways that I like to help aspiring and veteran school psychologists include:

  • Sharing my successes and downfalls in order to demonstrate that while we are "all-knowing" we don't know all. I have to keep this in the forefront of my mind constantly in order to get through the year/month/week/day/meeting. We have a lot of knowledge in our brains to share, BUT we can also learn more and empower others to learn along with us.
  • I like to post about things people want to know or need. We all run into that time or case when we need to put our finger on something to support those in our building(s). I work to compile resources for others whenever I have run into a case that I do some research. I hope that in compiling these lists, I take some burden off other school psychs looking for information on the exact same topic. My lists are not always perfect, but they are a starting point. 
  • Piggybacking on reason 2, I love connecting with other school psychs on the web; they are my family who actually get what I do! I can process with my co-workers, fiance, and family about the major struggs I encounter on the job. Just like with TEVAL observations, we need someone who gets what we do in order to problem-solve and regain some sanity. 

Now for the moment you have all been waiting for! Many of my favorite school psych blogs have already been nominated by @SkoolPsychMo, so I am going to highlight those that did not make her list that I think are awesome resources. My nominations are: 

Notes from a School Psychologist: Dr. Branstetter was the first blog I read about school psychology. I loved the idea of blogging about my travels in order to connect with others in the biz. She is an incredible school psychologist and is not afraid to wave her nerd flag! (@StudentsGrow)

Psyched About School: Sarah is a colleague in CT and an amazing school psychologist! She has lots of posts about resources available for families in CT, which I love! In person, she is a funny and dedicated member of the profession, and is always looking for a way to advocate for students. A must follow for those in CT (@PsychdAbtSchool)

The Wright Psych: Jason is an excellent resource of all things school psych and special education. His site is chock full of resources ranging from legal issues to getting help for your child to RtI. Be sure to check him out on Twitter (@TheSchoolPsych).

Rationales, not rules: This blog is by Lauren, an intern and third year student at Tufts. I love reading her blog as it keeps me focused on best practices. She has some great posts about advocacy, interventions, and interesting research. Be sure to follow her on Twitter for some great articles (@LaurenRosenbaum).

Elementary School Counseling: I know this is not a school psych blog, but I really love following school counselor pages as they have some GREAT ideas for groups and individual counseling. Marissa shares product reviews, intervention materials, lesson plans, and videos. Be sure to check out her page and other school counselor blogs! (@ESCorg)

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