Career Story: School Psychologist For A Suburban School District

School Psychologist For A Suburban School District

Job Title: School Psychologist

Type of Company: I work for a school district in Massachusetts.

Education: BA in Psychology at Assumption College •• MA, CAGS at Tufts University

Previous Experience: I completed three internships as a School Psychologist in other districts.

Job Tasks: As a School Psychologist I am responsible for testing, counseling, and consultation. Testing consists of both psychological (IQ and social/emotional) and achievment. After testing students I write a report of my findings and present the report at team meetings where an IEP is sometimes developed. The testing is a very long and time-consuming process; however, I find it very interesting. It is important to learn about the different types of assessments available and how to administer them. The scoring can be done on a computer and by hand. The reports are also very time consuming; however, they provide a lot of important information about the students' learning and emotional needs.

Counseling consists of writing measurable goals/objectives and helping students reach those goals through weekly counseling sessions. I counsel students for a variety of reasons: behavior issues, social issues (Asperger's Syndrome), and emotional issues (bi-polar disorder). Consultation consists of meeting with teachers and helping them with behavioral/social/emotional issues in their classrooms. I do several Functional Behavioral Assesments each year, which consists of analyzing behaviors, taking data on behaviors, and determing the ultimate function of the behaviors. Next, I create interventions that can replace the negative behaviors. Overall, I find this career extremely rewarding.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of this job is it's very rewarding and always changing (you never do the same thing two days in a row).

The worst part of this job is it can get very overwhelming. However, if you take the time to rest and relax, you find you have enough energy to do your job.

Job Tips:
1. Get as much experience as an intern as you can. Give every assessment that you can get your hands on because once you're in the field, you won't have the time to learn new assessment batteries.

2. Ask lots of questions! Even if you think the question is dumb, the job is so involved that you need to be able to have your questions answered.

3. The job is very demanding, make sure you take time for yourself to relax.

Additional Thoughts: This is a very rewarding and fun career choice.

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