The Borten Institute
Are you done testing? Will the student qualify? When is the ARD meeting?
Questions you will undoubtedly get this year as you start your new journey as an Educational Diagnostician.
It is exciting, right? You made it thru practicum (with a few tears), you passed the certification exam, and you landed job?!?! Whooo hooo!
But, when the celebration ends, there is still a job to do! You have invested the last 2-3 years of your life working toward the job you just landed. Are you prepared to start? Do you feel confident walking in on day one?
Whether you are or not, here are three practical tips to help you feel prepared and confident starting on day 1.
Tip #1: Put It On Your Calendar
If it is not on your calendar it will not happen. This is one of the most impactful statements I have heard since being an educational diagnostician. It means to be diligent about putting everything you intent to accomplish in a day, week, or month on your calendar. If you do not have it on your calendar, you will not get it done. It is a discipline that will lead to you being effective, efficient, and dependable.
Tip #2: Ask for Help
“Forget the mistake, remember the lesson.” An anonymous quote that rings so true. You will be on a huge learning curve this school year. All the course work you have completed over the last few years, can not completely prepare you for the job of an educational diagnostician. There are some things you will not know, until you are in the “thick of it”. When there are things you do not know how to do…ask for help! I suggest keeping a running record of questions you have on a notepad or in email. Then ask questions in a weekly meeting with a mentor or someone who can answer them.
Additionally, a lot of your learning will come on the hills of making mistakes! Some mistakes will be little and some will be huge. But do not beat yourself up about these mistakes! Forget the feeling that comes with making a mistake (feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment or shame) and remember the lesson. Remember the right way to proceed the next time you encounter the situation!
Tip #3: Control Office Traffic
Office traffic, people in and out of your office, a common reason educational diagnosticians do not get work done in a timely manner. You arrive to work at 8:00am with intentions of completing 3 hours of report writing that day. But at 8:30am a teacher pops in unexpectedly on her conference period and speaks to you for an hour about a troubled student. After which, you stare back at your report trying to remember where you left off but an assistance principal pops in unexpectedly at 10:00am. Before you know it, 3 hours have flown by and you have only written the same sentence 3 times in your report because of the constant disruptions. Set concrete office hours and display signage on your door that will let people know when you are available and we you are not available.
More practical tips like these are available on, The Borten Institute for Learning Disabilities website, in an online course entitled “ First Day Diag”. This is a set of 5 online courses that gives practical tips on how to:
Click here to check it out now.
The job of an educational diagnostician can be exceedingly difficult but is also very rewarding. We lead the charge in ensuring children have equal and equitable opportunity to access education so they can be all they are purposed to be. I believe this is some of the best work we will ever do on this side of heaven!
Congrats again on landing the new job, and I wish you much success your first year as an educational diagnostician.