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WSPA President’s Message by Linda Servais
The absolute joy of the summer for me was going to the International School Psychologists Association (ISPA) convention in Manchester, England with Lisa Hanson-Roche. We began talking about going last October at fall convention. By February we had definitely decided to go and registered for the convention and housing at Manchester Metropolitan University. Of course, since we were going to be in Europe, we decided to expand the trip to include visits with Lisa’s friend in Denmark and my friend in Belgium. Plus, as long as we were in England, it seemed like the right thing to do was take a tour of England and a wee bit of Scotland. So, we did all that and had a fabulous time! The ISPA convention included many U.S. speakers including, Melissa Reeves, NASP immediate Past President, and Sally Baas, current President of the Minnesota School Psychologists Association and Past President of NASP. There were also speakers from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, as well as other universities. Of course, the current President of ISPA is Shane Jimerson from the University of
California - Santa Barbara. However, there was also a huge international feel to the convention with people from the UK, Sweden, Hungary, Slovakia, Japan, and many other countries in attendance. We attended many of the sessions including speakers from Australia and the UK. The focus of the three keynote speakers included, empowering parents, school psychologist making a difference in the lives of children around the world, and the role of school psychologists in promoting mental health. We met and had interesting conversations with many people from around the world at the convention and throughout our travels. Of course we learned some lessons along the way, including always having our rain jackets with us after getting soaked one evening walking back a few blocks to our rooms on campus in Manchester! We also learned that the school psychologists around the world have the same concerns for their children as we have in the United States. Many children are suffering from trauma caused by many different situations in their own countries. School Psychologists around the world are working hard to establish themselves as mental health providers to help children overcome the mental health issues that interfere with their educational and social/emotional progress.
That brings me to the role of school psychologists as we return to the schools this fall. I hope you have all had a chance to relax, travel, play, and soak up some sun during your summer break. It’s very important to recharge your resolve to get back into the arena and do your best work in your individual school districts. I know I talk about this all the time, but you really do have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. This summer a friend of mine was involved in a terrible explosion, losing both legs just above the knee. When I went to see him in the hospital all he could talk about, with great enthusiasm, was going out and giving testimony about his experience to help others. While I admire his resilience, I reminded him that he would be no good to anyone else if he didn’t make his own adjustments to his new reality and take care of himself first. There is nothing selfish about that and we all need to do that in order to do our best work and give our best efforts. I hope you all have a fantastic school year and treat yourself kindly along the way!
Warm Regards, Linda
WSPA Fall 2017 Sentinel Newsletter is now available on-line for members. Click on Resources, then choose WSPA Sentinel.
For Members, Click This Link: https://wspa18.wildapricot.org/WSPA-Sentinel-Newsletter/
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School psychologists have specialized training in both psychology and education. They use their training and skills to team with educators, parents, and other mental health professionals to ensure that every child learns in a safe, healthy and supportive environment. School psychologists understand school systems, effective teaching and successful learning. Today's children face more challenges than ever before. School psychologists can provide solutions for tomorrow's problems through thoughtful and positive actions today.
The training requirements to become a school psychologist are a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours including a year-long internship. This training emphasizes preparation in mental health, child development, school organization, learning, behavior and motivation. To work as a school psychologist, one must be certified and/or licensed by the state in which services are provided. School psychologists also may be nationally certified by the National School Psychology Certification Board (NSPCB).