I have spent the last 10 years as a school psychologist, special education director, and camp director for special needs kiddos. I have worked in public schools around Boston and charter schools in the South Bronx, New York.
I think it is essential to educate the whole child. To give kids the reason why they are learning something. Focus on developing relationships and cultivating mutual respect with clear boundaries. I think you have to give children lots of exposure and repetitions with material and an opportunity to interact with information in different ways. I think you have to break things down and understand where confusion comes from. I believe in using data efficiently and effectively to tailor instruction and support as much as possible.
I grew up in Northern New Jersey attending public schools, and working with children as soon as I was old enough. I went to University of Maryland and found myself torn between education and psychology. After 4 years and a lot of time in classrooms and research labs, I found school psychology and it seemed to be the perfect fit. I moved up to Boston and went to Tufts University for graduate school.
I lucked into a school psychologist position in Concord, Massachusetts where I got to really develop my role and work with some incredibly talented general and special education staff. I also had the opportunity to run a summer camp for children with Autism at Massachusetts General Hospital, developing resources, working with kids, and developing staff. After 5 years, the New York area was calling me home, and I landed a job at a charter school in the South Bronx. It was the area I always wanted to work in, and again I was given the leeway to develop my role. I eventually moved into being their special education director as they expanded into multiple schools. I have just moved on from that position, and am currently planning on traveling for a year. Hopefully it will be give me lots of time to create materials from the last decade of work. :)
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