What is a School Psychologist
It’s amazing to me what people think I do when I tell them I am a School Psychologist. People never seen to really understand what a School Psychologist does when I tell them. No matter how many times I explained it to my grandmother she thought I was a teacher until Dr. Phil came to TV. She suddenly made a connection and realized that I was a Dr. Phil for kids. Well, not exactly, but maybe a bit closer… Even in the schools, people have misconceptions about what School Psychologists do. As I have just changed systems, I’m realizing how different my role is no matter where I am and how the expectations are so different within the different schools.
The role of a School Psychologist might vary among school districts and states. However, School Psychologists who are Nationally Certified School Psychologists through the National Association of School Psychologists have had very specific training in several areas. Traditionally, School Psychologists do a lot of assessment with children who have been referred for special education evaluation. This may be an initial evaluation or a triennial evaluation that occurs with children already identified as a student who qualifies for special education. Assessment includes testing, observations, interviews, rating scales, and record reviews.
In addition to assessment, School Psychologists work with teachers, staff, and parents to develop interventions to help children become more successful. School Psychologists may work as part of a committee to develop interventions or they may consult with teachers individually. At times, a behavioral plan my be developed.
School Psychologists are also trained in individual and group counseling. The amount of counseling a School Psychologist will do depends on the expectations of the school district.
See Who are School Psychologists for more detailed information.