Meet the School Psychologist
The period of childhood to adolescence is considered to be the most crucial stage in a person’s life. It is in that stage where a person is at his most impressionable; thus, guidance and support is most needed. Every day, as they leave the comfort of their homes to go to school, it is important that their second home also provides support and guidance.
The School Psychologist: Who are They?
As the designation implies, school psychologist practice their profession in schools and learning institutions. Mostly, they work with pupils and students in early childhood and elementary and secondary schools. Their main areas of concern include the students’ behavioral issues and learning problems. Using these findings, they make recommendations to the school for points of improvement in general management of the school, and confer with parents regarding their parenting skills and practices. Their evaluations are also used when dealing with gifted students and students with disabilities who need special attention or special education programs. Basically, they are going to work with the school management to make sure the students are given a safe and secure environment which is conducive to learning. Often, they would be conducting interviews, interventions and even counseling.
During other times, school psychologist are also instrumental in evaluating the effectiveness of academic programs and other school-related programs.
Where are they working?
School psychologist are found in pre-schools, elementary schools, and secondary schools. Whether state-run, public, or private, the services of school psychologist are hired in these learning institutions. This is especially ideal to those who want to be in the academe and work with children or young people without actually having to teach in a classroom. Other than schools, school psychologist can also be found in clinics and hospitals, while there are others who set up their private practice.
Who do they work with?
School psychologist mainly work with the students of the schools they are connected with. Since they are part of the school personnel, they would also be working closely with the management of the school, the teachers and the other members of the school staff. Since parent involvement would be high, school psychologist are also expected to be in contact with the students’ parents.
How does one become a school psychologist?
Much like other fields of specialization in psychology, school psychologist have to complete a Master’s degree and a site-based supervised internship for experience to become certified or licensed. In some states, an individual should also have a post-master’s training or specialist degree, such as the Educational Specialist degree Ed.S., owing to the fact that they will be involved in the education system. It is also for this reason that the training for school psychologist cover both education and psychology. For those who want to set up their own private practice, however, a Doctoral degree is required.
There are certain school systems that are particular about the certification of the school psychologist that they would hire. For instance, some schools would only hire those who have been certified by the National Association of School Psychologist (NASP) as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP).
School Psychologist Salary: Around $40k to $109k per year.