Professional Development for School Psychologists

professional development for school psychologists

Since many of us are heading back to school and are likely in professional development meetings, I thought I would write about professional development for school psychologists–the good, the bad, and the UGLY. But first…let’s go down memory lane…

In the Beginning…

When I first started Notes from the School Psychologist Blog in 2007, I had no idea what it would become. I was writing into the newly formed blogosphere to connect and share with other school psychologists. Truthfully, I was early in my career, excited, and I wanted to share the joys and challenges of this crazy profession we call school psychology. With each notification that someone had commented, I was so excited to be connecting with another school psychologist who GOT IT. I was no longer alone in my “silo of suffering” when days got tough. I could laugh with you all at all the madness…Has anyone reading been with me from the start??? Remember when I got a ding on my internship evaluation for my pants and I started dressing like a sister wife? Or when I was asked to write a behavior plan for a cat? Good times.

A Growing Community of School Psychologists

In my blog’s adolescence, I started the Facebook page for the group and this is where things got really fun. I got to really interact with you all. I got to see your faces and get to know you. I got to post your questions and you got to hear from school psychs across the country—we started giving each other validation, support, and comic relief.

Speaking of comic relief, I recently posted a question “What is the worst professional development you have ever been to?” and I seriously almost wrecked my computer by spitting out coffee on it, reading the answers (The winner goes to the school psychologist who wrote that her district hired a motivational speaker for thousands and thousands of dollars who told them to “water the bamboo” and then no one spoke of it again). Awesome use of district funds, guys.*

What’s next? What does my blog look like all grown up?

Meaningful Professional Development for School Psychologists

Born out of the joy of creating practical strategies and content specific to help school psychologists in their jobs, The Thriving School Psychologist Collective was born. I was tired of “professional development” for school psychologists that had nothing to do with our jobs. I literally have sat in a 6-hour training on an assessment tool, gotten really excited to use it, and then learned that the district does not have, nor plan to purchase, this said tool. Neat.

I wanted to create a positive community of like-minded school psychologists who, like me, are ready to take meaningful steps to making this career everything we know it can be—full of prevention, intervention, connections with our school community, and not meaningless paperwork.

I don’t want people to be in silos of suffering. I don’t want us to just have an online space to post our frustration and not have any tools to deal with it. I’m humbled and honored that hundreds of school psychologists have already joined me in The Thriving School Psychologist Collective online course and community. I am so excited to have created professional development for school psychologists that moves us from being overworked and underutilized to doing the REAL work. We can be with our students and not just their paperwork.

Joining The Movement: It’s More than Just Professional Development for School Psychologists

This is a ridiculously long way of saying that I’m SO EXCITED to welcome many of you into the Thriving School Psychologist online course and community this school year. If you haven’t heard of it, not sure what it’s about, want to join the movement, and earn some NASP-approved CEUs that are actually applicable to the day-to-day reality of being a school psychologist, then head on over to the Thriving School Psychologist website.**

On a personal note, I want to thank you all for your support over the years. It’s been amazing to move from being a blogger about school psychology to being part of a community committed to THRIVING and not just SURVIVING in this profession.

When school psychologists are thriving, they can better serve students and school communities.

Your support in the blog, Facebook forum, and in the course inspires me to continue to create learning opportunities and professional development for school psychologists that matters for us AND the strength of our profession.

I can’t wait to dive in with this new cohort in the Thriving School Psychologist Collective so together we can create creative ways to get the message out there that we can do so much more than just test for special education. I truly believe that we have the power to make change…together.

The journey continues…

*In moments like these, I frequently look to an invisible camera to see if my invisible audience is also catching the nonsense “professional development.” It makes me feel like I’m in a reality show and it breaks up the day for me to self-entertain in this way. 🙂
** Your last chance to enroll in this year’s cohort is Sunday, August 19th, 2018! If it is past the enrollment date, you are welcome to sign up for the wait list and you will be first to know when we are accepting a new cohort.

Rebecca Branstetter is a school psychologist and the creator of the Thriving School Psychologist Collective™, which provides online professional development for school psychologists and a community dedicated to thriving so we can better serve our school communities. To learn how to spend more time with actual students rather than spending time with students’ paperwork (and earn NASP-approved CEUs doing it!) visit www.thrivingschoolpsych.com/mentor.

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