Sunday, September 4, 2011

Goal Setting

Well, with Labor Day tomorrow, the summer truly is coming to an end. Boyfriend and I are having a family get -together tomorrow with our parents, my grandpa, my future step-brother, and Boyfriend's niece (referenced in this blog entry).
Tuesday is the first day back at my building, staff only. I'll be leading much of the opening day activities for the staff, as my colleague and CSE chairperson recently had surgery and will be out until at least October. I'll be discussing new Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) initiatives for the year, the upcoming Response to Intervention (RTI) regulations, new Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) expectations, and other tidbits. Hopefully I won't be a snooze! Wednesday the kiddos return. I have to be honest, I really haven't been excited to return to school since I spent almost the whole summer working, but I am really looking forward to seeing my munchkins! My running friend S, Squirmy McAntsypants, and other blog stars will be returning, but others have moved on. D, the kiddo who Hulked out and threw a chair across my office, was placed in an agency program due to extreme unsafe behaviors, and A was placed at a different school in a class for students with Autism.

As I start the new year, I want to go back to my roots. Every year during my graduate program, we had to update a portfolio of our experiences, case studies, reports, and other important work samples. It mostly was the bane of everyone's "busy work" existence, but once we graduated, it ended up being a comprehensive testament to our Master's degrees (see me being glass half full). One document that was constantly tweaked was our "role reflection," where we had to outline three goals we had for ourselves for the coming year. Here's some new goals for the 2011-2012 school year:

  1. Be more visible. As a school psychologist, I spend an insane amount of time testing, writing reports, and developing IEPs. Sometimes I don't notice I've wasted half a day at my desk until it's 1:00pm. This year, I want to be in classrooms more, whether it's assisting with a lesson, observing, doing whole class interventions, or catching kids "being good." I want to have a positive image for myself not only with the kids, but with the staff. Since I've been in the building for a year, I want to end the adjustment period and make solid, positive relationships with my staff.
  2. Keep better data. Our district was evaluated by the state this year with regards to our BIPs, and only one school passed (not mine, but thankfully the school of one of my Master's cohort friends). I'm going to be a stickler this year both for myself and my staff about BIPs, hence our opening day discussion. I'm a total data nerd, so I'm going to work on getting better, more consistent progress-monitoring data for the behavior plans in our building. It requires a lot of time and energy, and often gets pushed by the way-side when other more critical things come up, unfortunately. Data will be useful not only to monitor student growth, but also for reporting out to parents and administration, and at the CSE table.
  3. Be more involved in the profession. Sure, I'm a member of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), the New York Association of School Psychologists (NYASP), and my regional school psych organization, but that doesn't necessarily mean I do much more than pay dues. I recently became the co-chair representative of my NYASP chapter and am on the planning committee for the 2012 NYASP Conference, which will be held in my area. Next weekend, I'll be attending the NYASP Executive Board meeting in Albany, NY (which I'm sure to blog about), and later this month, will be enjoying a regional luncheon conference. I would love to attend the 2012 NASP Conference in February in Philadelphia, PA, which will be dependent on funds. Professional organizations can be hugely important and beneficial for your career, so I'm looking forward to cultivating those relationships.
What are your goals for the upcoming school year? T-Minus 3 days folks...

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