Ringing in the New Year with Self-Reflection

It’s hard to believe 2023 is right around the corner! There is no better time like the new year to engage in self-reflection and get honest with yourself about what’s been working well in your school psych practice and what areas need improving. One area I have been working on is my reports and verbal explanations of my results being more parent friendly. How can I summarize my results in a succinct manner in psychoeducational reports and IEP meetings? Here’s what has worked for me!

  • Begin the cognitive and social-emotional sections with questions that will be answered in the report. For example, how are the student’s cognitive processing weaknesses affecting his/her ability to access the curriculum? How are the student’s social-emotional concerns impacting his/her academic and social needs? 
  • At the end of the cognitive and social-emotional sections, I bring the questions back and answer them. This helps me stay focused on what I want to share with parents. 
  • This strategy can be used in the educational history section as well. For example, what did I learn about the student’s educational history that supports the student’s current difficulties? Did I find a historical perspective of learning difficulties, for example? 

What Kind of School Psychologist Do You Want to Be?

What hasn’t been working for me? I have a tendency to get things done last minute. Does anyone else struggle with this too? At the end of the day, I always show up with a thoroughly completed evaluation and detailed report but the stress and anxiety leading up to that moment feels overwhelming. Here are some of my own personal takeaways. 

  • There is a mismatch between who I want to be and who I’m currently showing up as. 
  • If I make a promise to a colleague or parent, I am true to my word because I value integrity. But keeping promises to myself can be challenging!  
  • Do I want to be someone who genuinely procrastinates? That’s not me and that’s not how I want to show up. The next step is to focus on aligning my practices with who I am. 

If It Takes 15 Minutes, It Goes on the Calendar 

There are dozens of steps school psychologists complete when conducting a psychoeducational assessment from start to finish. The sheer amount of tasks overwhelm my brain at times, causing me to procrastinate. Sound familiar? Check out what’s been working for me!

  • Breaking down large tasks into smaller, more manageable tasks has lessened my overwhelm.
  • Keeping my  to-do list for small tasks that take less than 15 minutes to complete. 
  • If the task takes longer than 15 minutes, they are added to my calendar so the time is blocked.

To help me in working more in alignment with my ideal self, I decided to delve back into a book on my shelf.  And, to help with accountability, I am reading the book through a book club.  Our next book club starts in January 2023 and we will be reading The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey. This book will be read over a seven week period, giving prepared school psych members ample time to focus on each one of the seven habits. Did you know there are two additional books written by Stephen Covey called, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens and The Seven Habits of Happy Kids? All seven habits are the same across all three books and I decided to read all three versions. The best part is, you get to decide which version you want to read! Our discussions will focus on improving our own habits as well as ways to support the children and adolescents we work with! If you are interested in coming along on this book club journey, become a member of the prepared school psych community today! Don’t have time to read the book? We’ve got you covered! All book club discussion sessions will be recorded for you to watch at your leisure! Get started today!