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A school counselor shares tips and advice

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Kids always seem to surprise me with their outlook, resilience in the face of adversity, and wicked sense of humor. I can’t share too much, but you get some really unexpected things in the consultation.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever had to do?

Issuance of documents. It’s necessary, but definitely not my forte.

How was the beginning of the new pandemic year?

Children have really suffered from missing school over the past few years. A lot of work needs to be done to pick up the pieces and restore the time they missed.

How transferable are your skills?

I’m not looking to take my skills into a new career any time soon, but with psychology the possibilities are pretty endless. I think the skills you learn in a career are transferable to almost any career that involves people.

Did you have another career before becoming a school psychologist?

I used to do different jobs; ranging from golf ball collection, pizza delivery, retail, property maintenance, farm work, working and managing bars, restaurants and hostels. Now any work with customers and people is part of my career. I think the variety of jobs I’ve done both here and abroad has exposed me to many sides of life and the variety of worldviews and experiences people have. All of this helps me develop empathetic relationships with different people, which I think is very important to being an effective psychologist.

What advice do you have for people who want to pursue this career?

It’s challenging but rewarding and no two days are the same. I would say that it is very important that you understand yourself, know that this is what you want, and know how to take care of yourself first. For me, it was five years of studying psychology, undergraduate, honors and graduate. It’s quite exhausting and very technical, but it’s an amazing feeling to come out the other side. I volunteered as an elementary school ethics teacher, which helped me gain experience.

What personal skills do they need?

I think that basically you have to be able to listen, accept and be open to other people’s worldview. A love of science will also help.

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