The following is a collection of my thoughts and artifacts that helped to create my own personal philosophy of School Psychology.

My personal view of human nature

A person who is severely impaired never knows his hidden sources of strength until he is treated like a normal human being and encouraged to shape his own life.
—Helen Keller, American author, lecturer, and blind and deaf activist (1880–1968)

My personal philosophy of School Psychology is grounded in my views of the fundamental nature of human beings - that we are all human. I believe that as a School Psychologist I will be in a unique position to elucidate the full range of human strengths and limitations. Through my work as a School Psychologist, I hope to help others realize their full potentials and "hidden sources of strength".

Lieutenant General Romeo Dallaire

"Are all humans human? Or are some more human than others?" This quote from Romeo Dallaire's book, "Shake hands with the Devil" has stuck with me ever since I first read it. Dallaire speaks of unspeakable injustices on human life as he details his accounts of genocide in Rwanda. This quote reminds me of the importance of inclusion, and treating all people with dignity and respect, regardless of their race, culture, religion, or abilities. The moment we lose sight of this thought, is the moment that we fail our children and our hope for the future. All human life has value and I marvel at the idea that as a School Psychologist, I will be able to help others tap into their unique abilities.

"Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught." - Oscar Wilde

The Practice of School Psychology

I ascribe to Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory in my approach to School Psychology. I believe that children are a product of their larger environment and that a variety of influences need to be examined when assessing and designing interventions for clients. Similarly, I believe in Bandura's Social Learning Theory in that behavior and environment work in a reciprocal fashion to shape a child. I believe it is very important to keep these theories in mind when working with children and their families as a School Psychologist.

I also think as a School Psychologist it is important to remember Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development theory. Children have a potential for learning, like an elastic band, and it is the role of the School Psychologist to further a child's development and learning through successive approximation, by first helping to pinpoint where the child is in his/her development and learning.

Sir Ken Robinson - How Schools Kill Creativity

Sir Ken Robinson - How Schools Kill Creativity
In regards to Sir Ken Robinson and his lecture on how schools kill creativity, I believe it is important to remember that more should be valued than just traditional academic abilities. I do not necessarily agree with everything he says, but his firm standpoint challenges my opinions, views, and beliefs on education and learning. He certainly raises some important and interesting ideas to think about in School Psychology.

Recognize Children's Unique Abilities

This cartoon highlights the importance of recognizing children and youth's unique strengths and abilities, some of which cannot be tapped into using today's available methods. As a School Psychologist I believe it is important to remember that not everything we assess is of value, and not everything that is of value can be assessed. Moreover, as this cartoon illustrates, the goal of School Psychology is not to make everyone the same or to hold the same goals for every child, but rather to identify and encourage a child's unique potential.

Kids are kids, first.

This cartoon highlights the importance of remembering that kids are kids. We have to differentiate what is a problem versus what is normal development. An issue should only be considered a problem if it significantly interferes with the child's ability to function in some way or is causing significant social, emotional, behavioral, physical, cognitive, or academic impairment. There is a wide range of "normal" development in children and it is important to remember this, as a School Psychologist.

My Plan to Develop and Improve My School Psychology Theory and Practice

I am committed to ongoing professional development in School Psychology. I am excited and passionate about the field and look for opportunities to continue to grow and expand my knowledge. Research is always informing our practice and will continue to do so throughout my career as a School Psychologist. I will keep abreast of this new research by continually reading, attending lectures and workshops, and taking further education. I hope to one day even be involved in contributing to the body of research in this field. The following video clip summarizes my thoughts and excitement about entering the field of School Psychology.

My Contributions to the Field

I will act as an advocate and agent of change for School Psychology by committing to ongoing professional development and growth. I look forward to working with clients, families, schools, school districts, and policy makers to effect positive changes in the lives of children and youth and the educators who work with them.