Wow! It has been a LONG time since my last post and it has taken me so long for several reasons. The main reason is that elgibility assessments took over my life. I know there are lots of heads nodding right now. Unfortunately, it started pretty early in the fall (last school year fall, not this one!) and didn’t slow down until the last day of school (last school year 13-14). Any break, including the crazy amount of snow days we had, just made me crazy and feel like I was getting farther and farther behind on assessments. Needless to say, I was having a very hard time finding time to explore tools let alone see how they worked in a real situation.
I used all summer to recover from the school year AND fill out one job application to a new district. A former colleague who was laid off from the district we worked in at the same time as I did, went to work for this new district and we’ve stayed in very close contact over the past four year so when I saw the position posting for her district I had to throw my hat in to the ring. After a very rigorous interview process I was offered a school psychologist position in the Chelsea School district. I took pretty much all the time they’d give me to make my decision, about 18 hours, because if I was going to make a change it really had to be a good change. I couldn’t leave talented friends and colleagues just because I completed so many evaluations; I had to truly find a place where I could be more proactive and making a positive contribution to the school community. I’m happy to say, I accepted the position, and it really is turning out to be the type of position I’ve have hoping for.
Here are some of the highlights
- My first day I received a new laptop and a new iPad. They went straight for my heart!
- In my middle school building, they rolled out their 1:1 iPads in the first week of school. Woohoo tech work with kids here I come! I’ve already run a series of groups on the built in features of the iPad, no apps required.
- I’ve formed 3 different support groups (2 for 4th-5th and 1 for 6th-8th) to run with the students focused on mindset and improving executive functioning skills
- I’ve actually be able to talk to the tech guys and they’re helpful as well as interested in know about some of the online/tablet assessment options available such as Q Interactive. They were also super supportive of me asking for trials of the tools to see how they worked.
- I also received a grant to purchase enhanced writing apps for some of the middle school students to support their written expression difficulties so I’m heading in to direct work with students on using those apps.
Sooo now that it is December and I’m feeling more settled I’m going to start working on writing more. I’m thinking some future posts will relate to the writing tools I’m piloting with students. Some super fun tools I’ve started using on Google and maybe a little about apps I’ve recently started using. Anything you guys would like me to talk about specifically?