A school psychologist is a professional who provides various kinds of psychological and pedagogical support during the whole educational process. The main aim is to ensure the proper development of the child that corresponds to the established norms. The most common duties are setting a psychological diagnosis, counseling for teachers and parents, psychocorrection, psychological education, participation in different kinds of parent and teacher meetings.
Typically, school psychologists work with children in conjunction with their parents and teachers. Also, they may work with students indirectly through their parents, teachers, or a mental health professional. To do the best work, school psychologists often collaborate with other professionals.
The main purpose of a school psychologist is to optimize the educational environment for the harmonious development of the personality of students. It includes the following:
1) Psychological diagnostics. School psychologists do it for individuals, groups, teachers, and parents.
2) Psychocorrection. It can be done to solve an interpersonal conflict in class, or personal issues of children.
3) Advisory work. It includes consultations for every participant of the educational process: parents, teachers, and administration.
4) Educational work. The psychologists create educational resources and share knowledge with students and teachers.
Educational psychologists can work in various environments, such as preschools, schools of all levels, learning centers, community organizations, or as an independent consultant.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, school psychologists get a median annual salary of $70,580. School psychologists earn the best in Oregon with an annual salary of $122,010, followed by California at $111,750 and Washington, D.C. at $106,900.
The NASP is a professional community representing more than 25,000 school psychologists in the United States and an additional 25 countries worldwide. It is the world’s largest organization of school psychologists that works to advance professional practices and improve students’ learning, behavior, and psychological well-being.
The National Association of School Psychologists provides guidance for school safety, assessment, learning difficulties, racial and ethnic disproportionality in education. The NASP always welcomes volunteers dedicated to its core purposes.
To become a school psychologist you need to get a bachelor’s degree first. Next, pursue a master’s degree in this specialty. It is a minimum requirement to enter the field. Also, to get additional experience, you should find an internship. It will allow you to discuss your observations and get answers to our questions from licensed psychologists.
You will have both supervised and unsupervised contact with clients and get feedback on your work. Internship usually takes up to a year. To start your career as a school psychologist, you must be licensed by the state in which you are going to work. Employment in a public school typically requires certification by the State Department of Education.
While choosing a school psychology program, you must make sure that it is approved by the National Association of School Psychologist. The easiest way to find an appropriate school psychology program is to use an online directory.
There are a lot of online school psychology programs to choose among. For instance, the University of Northern Colorado offers nationally approved programs that provide information on children development, safe learning environments, and academic interventions. Students that want to conduct research, can enrol a Ph.D. program at this university.
Eastern Michigan University offers a master’s degree program that teaches to apply psychological principles to school. This program allows students to learn more about intelligence theory, motivation to learning, psychology of gifted students, multicultural learning, and the sociology of education. You can also focus on learning how students develop academically or on research and assessment practices.