Friday, November 12, 2010

Today is a Good Day to...

This week was School Psychology Awareness Week, and the theme this year was “Today is a Good Day to… SHINE.” I emailed my psychologist colleagues a few weeks ago to see if anyone was doing something in their buildings to commemorate. After all, we have secretary’s day, teacher’s day, etc, why not a whole week to help educate and celebrate our profession and the awesome kids we work with?! Unfortunately, my colleagues were not inspired. One psychologist replied to my mass email (yep, I’m spamming your inbox) by saying that “people know [him] by the work [he] does every day.” True story.

I put up the “SHINE” poster that the National Association of School Psychologists sent out on a bulletin board in our hall, but am not doing anything special this year. Maybe next year I’ll be able to plan something.  In the meantime, I want to “shine” some light on the good/cute things going on in my building by writing a few blurbs for some of the ways NASP encourages students to “SHINE”: 

See my blog post about my student and homeroom of the month duties.  

A. often comes down to my office right before lunch and at the end of the day to check-in. On his behavior plan, if he has had a good morning, he is rewarded with a positive call home at those times. Unfortunately, A.’s mom’s cell phone was recently disconnected, so he was unable to make his phone call home one day. He was about ready to blow his top, but I offered to teach him to play Uno as his reward instead. He loved it, and we played four or so games before he had to head back to his class. It was a wonderful break for me to get to play games (awesome), and helped him to hold it together! 

As a member of my building’s Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) team, we are often called on to teach and refresh the faculty on how PBIS works in our building and how to handle behavior problems. Last night, I stayed after school with the team to film skits showing a major offense (student having a weapon) and a minor offense (horseplay in the halls). Let me tell you, there is nothing funnier than 7 adults hamming it up pretending to be rowdy kids. I can’t wait until we show the videos at our faculty meeting next week! 

Ask a Question
On my desk is a picture of Boyfriend and I on our vacation to Cedar Point Amusement Park this past June. The picture was taken after we rode Top Thrill Dragster, a massive “strata-coaster” with a racing theme.  Behind us is a drag racing car. Virtually every male student that has come into my office this year, after seeing the photo, has excitedly blurted out, “IS THAT HIS CAR?!” Yes, children, he drives a hot rod to the office every day… and gets excellent gas mileage to boot! 

Say “Thank You”
Every morning, I have an AM duty. There is a girl in 1st grade that has narcolepsy, and she has an aide for personal safety. Because her aide is has a different duty during breakfast, I take her to breakfast and stay with her until her teacher picks her up at the start of the day. There are four classes of 1st graders in the breakfast room in the morning, which you can imagine gets a little crazy! This morning, I saw one of the best displays of manners by a 6-year-old ever (or maybe, since they are still learning, I was just blown away that this gentleman had it down). A little boy came up to me, waited until I was available, then politely said, “Excuse me, would you please open my juice?” When I did, he said “thank you,” and I praised him from here to Sunday for his excellent manners.  

Be Proud
I’m feeling more and more confident in my job every day! 

Make a Friend
One of the students who “checks-in” with me twice a day for behavior came to the office one day before lunch with an office write-up and tears in her eyes. A. had been having difficulty with a girl in her class, K., with some relational aggression and general not niceness. I called both the girls down for a peer mediation, and it turns out that K.’s way of joking around was more aggressive than A. was expecting, which she took to mean that K. didn’t like her or want to be her friend. Once it was all out on the table, and K. understood why A. was upset, the two agreed they wanted to be friends. Earlier this week I passed them in the hall smiling and laughing with one another. Put another tally mark in my column!

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