Happy 2014, friends! When we exchange our old Jeopardy desk calendars for a new year of fun trivia, it is customary to become a tad introspective and formulate some sort of goals to reach for the upcoming year. I had a great 2013, but I know I can improve on some things. So, I figured I would share a list of my own professional and personal goals to work toward accomplishing in 2014.
Many of these professional goals come from my annual self-reflection meeting with the program director. Every year, we meet with the program director to discuss our progress professionally and personally and work collaboratively to create goals for the next year.
· Use practicum activities to prepare for internship
If all goes according to plan, I will be completing my current practicum this June. As far as requirements are concerned, I have already completed about 50% of the requirements as well as many additional learning experiences. I would like to continue to gain as much experience as possible across multiple grade levels during practicum to prepare for internship this fall. I'm already getting great experiences at the middle and high school levels and am about to schedule a 2nd grade evaluation for the month. I also hope to become involved in early intervention meetings as well.
· Gain confidence through applied activities during practicum and develop additional professional skills in the remainder of EdS coursework
I have already learned a lot thus far at my practicum sites, but would like to work on a few specific skills this year. I would like to improve my interviewing skills and develop an interviewing style. I would also like to become more comfortable with testing materials and gain more experience with a variety of testing materials.
· Continue to work on strategies for communicating evaluation information to parents, both orally and in written reports
I have completed two comprehensive evaluations and compiled the results and recommendations into two evaluation reports. I am continuously trying to perfect the legally defensible, written report and communicate results in as clearly and concisely a manner as possible. I have minimal experience with providing feedback of results to parents, so this is a skill I would also like to work on.
· Continue to build professional resources
My professors and supervisors at PCOM have given me all sorts of resources from the PA Department of Education to personal templates that they find useful in their careers. Keeping this information organized both on paper and online is important now so I can find what I need later!
· Gradually add to Ed.S. portfolio
At the end of our Ed.S. program next year, we will compile a portfolio of our work, reflecting on the skills and competencies acquired in each of the school psychology training and practice domains identified by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). I’ll include comprehensive evaluations, consultation case studies, and many other documentations of my experiences as an Ed.S. student. While much of this work will come from internship, I want to organize any practicum activities before the last minute. Scanning and editing reports will probably take longer than I think…
· Study for Praxis II over the summer to take in fall 2014
While PCOM offers classes to help prepare for the National School Psychology Examination, I want to get this test out of the way with as soon as possible. The Praxis II is a School Psychology specific exam and is a typical graduation requirement for NASP-approved programs like PCOM's program. In order to become a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP), a passing score of 165 is required on this test as well as successful completion of coursework and internship. I want to study for the test over the summer while I have no classes so I can dedicate my time and efforts toward internship, without having to worry about the exam.
In addition to professional goals, it’s also good to have goals outside of the work week!
I am planning a trip to Scotland to visit a college friend this spring. I’ll most likely miss some class and practicum time, so I want to make sure that I am on track to complete all of my assignments before I leave.
· Take care of my physical and mental self
With school, work, practicum, and other life happenings, it is important to schedule in some time for mental health upkeep. I recently “trained” and ran my first 5k so that was definitely an accomplishment for 2013! But I also want to incorporate consistent exercise and a healthier diet into my routine to manage stress. Sculpting my physique wouldn’t be a terrible side effect either. I also want to look into mindfulness practices to manage any stressors as well.
· Be realistic about leisure reading
I always request one too many library books or spend too much money at Barnes and Noble. My new rule is, I’m only allowed to buy or request a new book if I finish one. Actually, I’ll probably only stick to the local library for now because it’s free!
I have no doubt that PCOM's School Psychology Ed.S. faculty and program will continue to prepare me for future goals. I look forward to achieving these goals and giving an update one year from now!