By Aubrey Schieuer
Even if you’ve been at it for a while, there are a lot of things you have to juggle as a school psychologist at every new assignment. Here are some tips to save you some time so you can get home at a decent hour!
One of the things you’re tasked with is writing reports. You will probably write more reports than you’d care to. Make things easier on yourself by writing a report template that you can modify as needed. Put all of your usual behavior scales in your template, since it’s much faster to delete one you don’t need than to dig around your files to add it in. It will make getting started on a new report that much easier!
When you’re first starting out at a new assignment, you might feel the urge to jump up and say “yes!” to every request for student evaluation. However, you can’t help everyone all the time. It helps to set boundaries and have “office hours.” Set aside two hours of the day for you to get caught up: either for testing kids or writing reports. The rest of the day you can leave your door open for kids or colleagues to drop by. Having some scheduled time to yourself will help you avoid burnout so you can bring your best self to work every day.
A calendar is an excellent way to stay on top of things! This will save you countless hours of trying to remember what’s coming next. Put in school holidays, professional development days, assessment due dates, parent-teacher conferences, and appointments with students. Having a calendar helps you be aware of upcoming deadlines, so you can prepare before the last minute. It also keeps in perspective how much time you really have, so you can feel good about saying “no” before you over-commit.
Nobody expects you to know it all, especially at a new school. Put yourself out there and get connected to people who have been there for years. Ask the special education teacher about the students, or ask reception where to print to. It could save you tons of frustration and time trying to figure out the simplest things. Plus, having those conversations is a great start to making strong relationships with your peers, which is always a good thing!
It’s summer now, but a new school year is right around the corner. Click here to check out some of the exciting school psychologist jobs we have throughout the country!