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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

We Make a Difference

School Psychology Awareness Week
November 10-14, 2008.

Recently I was saddened by a conversation I had with a fellow school psychologist when I was told "there isn't enough time to celebrate everyone." Needless to say, that school was not participating or even acknowledging School Psychology Awareness Week. 

I would like to know that we, a select few, are not the only ones who believe that school psychologists make a difference. How is your district embracing this week and what are you doing to bring awareness to others?


vincent said...

I'm honestly not sure whether or not my school is celebrating school psychology awareness week because I have not started observing there yet. When others who have no ties to the field of education ask me about what I am going to school for I try to make them aware of school psychology by explaining what the job entails and a little bit about the laws that make the job possible because most people have no clue what "school psychologist" means. I understand that it's not a well publicized field and am happy to clarify the job description but at the same time it's mildly irritating that 9 out of 10 responses from others who ask about what we do range from either "oh like a guidance counselor" or "like Dr. Phil but in a school." If I was going to school to be "like a guidance couselor" then why wouldn't I just say I'm studying to be a guidance counselor?

Rosa said...

Vinnie, I love the way you have described descriptions of what a school psychologist does by those that you meet! It is totally true. So many times, I hear the same thing from people who have no idea what it means to be a school psychologist. Maybe in part this is a result of the many roles school psychologists are thrown into and thus perform in the school? My boss(non-profit organization project manager) recently tried to explain what a school psychologist does to my collegue who asked me what I would be doing. She cut me off when trying to explain what it is I'd be doing, and interjected with, "You do testing all day!" At the end of her telling us what I'd be doing, I simply stated, "It depends on the school and what they need you to do and it varies greatly from school to school." She's like, "Like I said, testing all day." I'm also not in a school yet, but I think my part of school psychology awareness week will be to help others (in the non profit sector) understand what school psychology is about. That way, whether a future career change is in their plans or simply to understand the role of the school psychologist in their child's school, they will not assume it is only testing.

Katie said...

Like Vinnie and Rosa both mentioned it is surprising how many people are unaware that school psychologists exists and what their job entails. I have also been a victim of the "so your going to school to be a like a guidance counselor" comment one too many times. The district I am in did not celebrate school psychology awareness week.

When I get into the district I would like to hold parent seminars that are also open to all tax payers in the district to introduce myself and explain the importance of the role of the school psychologist in their schools. It would also give me a chance to meet parents and show them my dedication and interest in the well being of the children prior to having to speak with them on an individual basis regarding their child.

judy said...

my district hosts a breakfast,once each year, in the schools with in-house CSTs. this is to honor child study team members. i believe the same breakfast is used to honor the security guards or custodians. i'm not sure. as far as acutally celebrating awareness week, i have to ask my supervisor. i doubt my principal knows.
is the tone of this blog obvious?
aside from not being a prominent, celebrated force within my district, i've had the same experiences as my classmates. fellow teachers do not realize the scope and importance of the profession. people outside of the school systems (unless they have had experiences with CSTs - via their children, etc.)think we're guidance counselors. presently, to raise awareness, i explain the profession to anyone who seems interested. j.

mikec said...

The school I work at does not have any plans to recognize School Psych. Awareness week. However, if it were speech or OT week, there'd probably be a parade. Sorry for venting.
NASPOnline has some resources including a poster (which I have cheesily posted outside my office area) and ideas for activities that can promote the week and school psychology in general. One thing that some of my colleagues will be doing is nominating "difference makers" in our school who go above and beyond the call of duty. This will be a school wide activity where staff members can be voted for and the winner will be picked during that week. http://www.nasponline.org/communications/spawareness/index.asp
From what basic research I did the towns where I work and where I live has no plans for any recognition of the week either. I think just reaching out to people within schools, letting them know what you do on a face to face basis can be more valuable than any flyer or random 30 sec. recognition of school psych week.