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Throughout the psychology field there are unlimited opportunities for specialty areas of the field. One of the specialty areas that creates some of the most exciting, rewarding, and best careers for those who have a personality where all they want to do is help children is that of the school psychologist. The school psychologist works with children of all ages from kindergarten until they graduate from high school providing them with an outlet to express their feelings and any problems they are facing. The psychologist in the school setting has a wide variety of responsibilities to the student body including: observing them in classroom settings to determine if they need to have a learning disability diagnosed, and simply talking with students about any emotional or social problems that they are facing. For the psychologist to become successful in this area, she needs to be able to provide an excellent relationship with the students to ensure that they will seek out the help of the psychologist when they need someone to talk to.
School Psychologist’s Job Description
The job description of the school psychologist will have multiple tasks associated with it. The main part of the job is to simply listen to the students as they need someone to talk to about any problems they may be facing either academically or socially. These problems can also relate to problems they are experiencing at home or after-school activities where the student needs additional help to be able to handle the situations in an effective manner that will not create lasting consequences to the student’s mental status. The other large part of the job description is that of assisting the school district in implementing various anti-bullying guidelines that will ensure that all students are treated equally and watching out for those students who show signs of being the victim of bullying.
When a tragedy strikes the school district, such as the death of a teacher or student, the psychologist within the school will also provide grief counseling to all the students and ensure that they are all coping as they should with the tragedy that occurred. She will also become friends with the students and speak with them as friends when she sees them in the hallways or common areas of the school to ensure she has a friendly relationship so that the student knows he can come to her with any problems he is facing instead of keeping the emotions to himself which can prove harmful to most youth.
Schedule and Salary
Like any other position in education, the school psychologist may not earn a top yearly salary; however, one needs to keep in mind that when the school is closed, the services of the psychologist are not needed. Therefore, anytime there is no school, the psychologist does not work. This means that the psychologist in the educational field will likely have two weeks off during December, one week off during the spring, and the entire three months of summer off on top of any teacher in-service days and holidays. The psychologist will also enjoy the benefit of working Monday through Friday typically about 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ensuring that she never has to work any nights or weekends unless there is a school function that she decides she wants to attend.
Keeping in mind the schedule, the salary for this position can start out at around $35,000 for the psychologist with the bachelor’s or master’s level degrees. For the psychologist who earns their Ph.D., she can expect to earn a top salary that will range from a low point of $40,000 up to the high mark of $80,000 per year. Once one realizes the time off, the convenient schedule, and the excitement of this job, she will come to see that this job actually provides a top salary for the amount of hours worked each year.
The school psychologist is one of the most important careers in education. While the teacher does provide a service to the students’ education as a whole, the psychologist is one who will shape their emotions for the rest of their lives. When the student and the psychologist have a good, working relationship, the psychologist is able to effectively help the student to overcome any problems he may face in the delicate and sometimes difficult times in his life. As the relationship grows, the student knows that he can trust the psychologist, and that she is there to help him which will result in the student giving the psychologist the opportunity to help him with whatever type of problem he is facing.