Getting a new school year off to a good start will set the right tone for the nine or 10 months to follow. As a school psychologist, it’s important to collaborate with teachers and other faculty members, as well as parents, so all of you can work together on behalf of your students.
The back-to-school transition can be stressful even for the most eager and confident children. For others, the pressure can be overwhelming. You can help your students – and their entire support team – to make this a great school year by planning ahead, being prepared and realistic, and maintaining a positive attitude.
Cooperation is Key
Collaborate with teachers and find out the directions they will be taking and themes and topics they will be using during the year. Then you can tailor your plans accordingly. Arrange an informal get-together or two with the entire team. Even if everyone doesn’t show up, you can brainstorm, plan and share ideas.
Learn how you can best handle:
- The set-up of your room or therapy area.
- Effective communication with parents via newsletters, school websites and other means.
Recommended on your summer reading list is First Day of School by Harry Wong. Continue to read professionally. This helps you to stay current and keep the big picture in your head.
Reflect on the Past
Whether you’re a relatively new school psychologist or an experienced veteran, you may want to revamp your approach this year, based on your experience.
- Never be afraid to try something new. Understand that sometimes it will work, sometimes it will need to be tweaked, and sometimes you’ll wind up throwing it out altogether. Let your experience, both good and bad, help guide your overall approach.
- Never pass along information on how a particular student has behaved or performed in the past. It’s a brand new year. Every child, school psychologist and teacher deserves the chance to come in with a clean slate. A different educator may get other results. Preconceived notions can be detrimental to the overall development and progress of a student.
At Cobb Pediatric Therapy Services, we understand the unique challenges faced by school-based therapists and school psychologists at any career stage. For additional resources to enhance your school year experience – or access to our network of career path opportunities – contact us today. And be sure to relax and enjoy the rest of your summer!