I visited my practicum site for the first time last Friday! I met my supervisor in her office (bright and early at 7:45) at the middle school and we formulated a game plan for the day. She had previously scheduled a private school evaluation until the afternoon, so we needed to coordinate our schedules. She walked me over to the high school (next door), introduced me to the secretaries and principals, and introduced me to the guidance counselor who filled me in about the tenth-grade student referred for my consultation case. My supervisor informed me that in the high school, teachers do not typically have time to consult about students with behavioral or academic concerns. Luckily, the student’s chemistry teacher had a free period and was open to the consultation process. After our productive meeting, we identified a math concern that was affecting the student’s performance in chemistry class. I reviewed the student’s math grades and noticed that since Algebra I class in 7th grade, her performance began to drop and she was currently earning grades around 65%. Naturally, that would lead me to consult with the math teacher so hopefully this Friday we can figure out why the student is struggling and how best to support her in her current math class. After consulting with the math teacher, the next step is to decide how to assess baseline performance and take data, and then to monitor progress after implementing an academic intervention. I also informally observed the referred student in chemistry class after speaking with her teacher to add some more information to the case. This Friday, I also hope to interview the student to get her perspective on school and her math performance.
After I completed my tasks at the high school, I walked back to the middle school to observe a comprehensive evaluation of a 7th grade student. I will eventually conduct five comprehensive evaluations this year (including cognitive, academic, behavioral, and social/emotional aspects of functioning), so it was great to observe my supervisor in action. I took some mental notes (praise effort, not correct answers, allow silence for student to process questions during an interview, etc…) that I hopefully remember when administering the WISC!