Out in Front
Updates from the MSPP School Psychology Program
Lifelong Learning as a School Psychologist
Jenny Duncan, Class of 2013
It is hard to believe I can already say that I have a career that I am happy with. I mean, how many people can say that, even after a lifetime of work? I owe great thanks to MSPP for preparing me for, and helping me secure, this job. I am not just talking about the comprehensive training we received in assessment, report writing and child development. I am also talking about the way that the school pushes you to be your best self through self-reflection, self-evaluation, and scaffolding. Just when I had thought I had reached a goal, MSPP faculty was right there with the next step to prepare me even better. More and more, I am seeing the purpose in every small aspect of our training. The faculty, who are all practitioners, knew what kind of training we would need because they actually work in the field. As a result of the training I received at MSPP, I can not only say that I am a better school psychologist, but a better person.
Even after graduation, MSPP offers lots of Continuing Education opportunities aimed at increasing knowledge and effectiveness in your career. One of the Continuing Education opportunities I decided to participate in is a Clinical Supervision group for practicing school psychologists. One purpose of this biweekly, two year-long program is to provide the necessary supervision to become a Licensed Educational Psychologist (LEP), which allows you to practice independently (outside the school setting). However, the main reason why I signed up is because I wanted to continue to receive regular support and advice from other school psychologists during my early career. I find this supervision to be invaluable because I often find myself having unique questions in my job that only experienced school psychologists can answer. Through the group, I have learned a lot to help me with manage job challenges—including, how to keep from being taken advantage of as a new hire. Learning is lifelong in this profession. I hope to increase my confidence as a school psychologist through this group and other continuing education opportunities that MSPP has to offer.
Another Alum Heard From
The Fall 2013 issue of Rapport, the MSPP newsletter, features an interview with Jenny's former classmate and recent MA/CAGS graduate, Erika Johnson. You can read the article online here.
Our Annual Holiday Event: Make Like a Platypus
Shelby Marscher, Year 3 MA/CAGS/PsyD Student
Everybody likes free food, especially when it's pizza. What makes it even better is the company you're with. Rather thoughtfully, our Department's annual holiday event is in January, when we've had a chance to recover from Fall semester and the December holidays. There were hugs and handshakes as Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, PsyD students and alumni mingled with faculty for a varied program, which even included a contest to name the School Psychology Program mascot. (I voted for the platy…. platypuses? Platypi?).
A panel representing a wide spectrum of experiences in the field spoke to the crowd about their satisfaction on the job. What was repeated in many different ways is a big thing that makes our job great and that makes us great at our jobs: that we take initiative to make the job what we want. As school psychologists, even a neophyte like me (yes, that was my position on the panel!) recognizes that above all else, we are flexible. We wear many different hats and provide support to a myriad of clients that can take on many different forms. We are like the cool platypus: hard to categorize, a heady combination of many different skills and pieces, yet one complete and evolved being. Also, we are undeniably cool.
As such creatures, it is important that we stay ahead of the curve on many fronts. Most anything can affect our day to day experiences, from the clear impact of the tragedy at Sandy Hook, to the less obvious downturns in the stock market causing an increase in the stress level of our children's homes. How do we stay abreast of all of these things, let alone distill them into manageable and applicable information? We help each other, of course. And resources are vital: the NASP Communiqué, blogs and news outlets, even Out In Front. It's all part of what we do to make this job our own.