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Natalie Sten

Pre-Practicum Activity #1
November 4, 2013
Shadow a School Psycholoist! "ichelle Street
School Psycholoist at #hambersbur Area Senior $ih School
% recently shadowed "s& "ichelle Street, the school 'sycholoist (or #hambersbur
Area $ih School& She is a 'assionate, )nowledeable and 'roressive 'sycholoist that is
dedicated to enhancin the conitive, emotional and social rowth o( the students at
#hambersbur Area Senior $ih School&
"ichelle studied her underraduate deree at *ethany #ollee where she ma+ored in
'sycholoy& She hadn,t decided on her s'eci(ic career choice at that time but )new she
wanted to wor) in the mental health (ield& A(ter receivin her bachelor,s deree, she moved
to Pittsburh and was acce'ted into the master,s 'roram at -u.uesne /niversity& At that
time, she was undecided as to whether she wanted to be a clinical 'sycholoist or school
'sycholoist& "ichelle was re.uired to com'lete an internshi' (or her Ph- 'roram that she
chose to do throuh two di((erent settins& She interned at both a children,s hos'ital under a
clinical 'sycholoist and at an elementary school under a school 'sycholoist& %t was at that
time she decided to choose her career 'ath and become a school 'sycholoist due to her
internshi' e0'erience& A(ter com'letin her coursewor) (or her Ph-, "ichelle secured a +ob
as the school 'sycholoist (or #hambersbur Area Senior $ih School& She has been
wor)in at #hambersbur Area School -istrict (or two years and +ust recently de(ended her
% had a wonder(ul e0'erience shadowin "ichelle& 1ur day started out with three
suicide 'revention 'resentations that "ichelle had set u' with all o( the health classes& She
introduced the to'ic to each rou' by as)in the students .uestions about havin bad days
and (eelins o( sadness and aner as well as .uestions about chanes in slee'in and eatin
habits& She was able to discuss the di((erence between normal (eelins o( sadness and aner
com'ared to when an issue would need to be re'orted in order (or someone to et hel'& A(ter
introducin the to'ic and relayin true stores about suicidal ideations and suicide statistics at
#hambersbur, she showed a video that went throuh a series o( teenaers havin suicidal
thouhts and reachin out (or hel'& 2ach vinette was di((erent in terms o( what a student or
their (riend was oin throuh at school or in their home li(e& 3he video demonstrated how
suicidal ideations could mani(est in di((erent ways and how the outcome can chane to a
more ho'e(ul situation a(ter reachin out (or hel' throuh trusted adults& A(ter the video had
(inished, "ichelle 'assed out (orms to each student that she re.uired them to com'lete& 3he
(orms as)ed them i( they would li)e to s'ea) with someone& %t was im'ortant to note that the
student was as)ed to (ill out the (orm i( they needed to tal) to someone or i( they needed to
tal) to someone about a (riend& 3his (orm was )e't con(idential, as they were as)ed to turn
the (orm over on their des) and only the school counselor or 'sycholoist would see it&
"ichelle also 'assed out cards that she as)ed students to )ee' in their wallets, which had
local and national hotline numbers on them that students could re(erence in the event that
there is an emerency in the (uture&
"ichelle really en+oys the variety o( res'onsibilities that come with her +ob as well as
the (eelin o( accom'lishment that she (eels a(ter wor)in with a student and seein their
taret behaviors and academic 'er(ormance im'rove& "ichelle is one o( the si0 school
'sycholoists in her district& 4hen a student is re(erred to her, she (irst conducts interviews,
com'letes observations and ma)es recommendations 'rior to testin when 'ossible& 5or
e0am'le, a irl was re(erred to her that )new the course in(ormation but was doin 'oorly on
tests& 3here was a concern that the student was dysle0ic& She met with the student,s teacher to
obtain more in(ormation and then 'er(ormed observations o( the student in her accountin
class that she was strulin with& A(ter all o( the data was collected, it was determined that
the student was very ca'able o( doin well& $owever, the student became very an0ious when
ta)in tests and had a hard time (ocusin on the tas) at hand& "ichelle 'rovided many
recommendations to the teacher such as ivin her a sheet o( 'a'er to use when ta)in a test
in order to cover u' 'arts o( the test that she did not need to (ocus on at that time& She also
suested to the teacher that he (ocus on ivin her 'ositive 'raise when she com'letes an
assinment or test correctly& "ichelle also met with the student to 'rovide her with rela0ation
techni.ues and co'in s)ills when she beins to (eel an0ious about test ta)in&
"ichelle is 'racticin all o( the NASP domains in her +ob as well as 'er(ormin the
NASP com'etencies that are re.uired throuh 'ractice in school 'sycholoy& 1n the day that
% observed her, we s'eci(ically (ocused on the (unctional com'etencies within the domains o(
com'etence& "ichelle was im'lementin a universal suicide 'revention 'roram as well as
discussin with me the im'ortance o( not automatically testin a student& % learned the
im'ortance o( atherin all o( the relevant in(ormation (irst and ma)in recommendations to
avoid testin a student unnecessarily& %t was in(ormative (or me to observe a systems-level
intervention as well as student-level service that enhanced students, academic, social and li(e
s)ills without standardi6ed testin& % was (ortunate to learn so much (rom "ichelle while
observin and interviewin her, as she was a wealth o( )nowlede to me (or my (uture career
as a school 'sycholoist&