Karen Ferrer, School Psychologist, Walton Middle School & Red Hill Elementary
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
At certain times the job can exact a significant emotional toll. Seeing what students have to deal with and struggle with on a daily basis can be difficult. I am constantly amazed by the resilience of the students I work with; the ones who have experienced significant losses, who have tough situations they deal with at home, who have mental health issues or autism or learning disabilities that get in the way of their learning. On the flip side, one of the most rewarding aspects of my job is watching a team of educators make such a difference in these student’s lives.
What’s the most common misconception about your job?
That all I do is test students, when in actuality, my job is much broader than that. Most of my time is actually spent counseling students individually or in groups, organizing intervention services for students, or consulting with teachers, parents, or administrators.
Why did you choose to perform your job in the schools rather than another industry?
I work in the schools because I’m a big believer in all students having access to effective mental health services. I wouldn’t be able to work with many of the students whom I work with now if I worked in the private sector.
How do you see education changing in the next 5 years?
My hope is that education continues to place emphasis on the development of emotional intelligence in students. One of the most important things students can learn is how to work with and support each other and to respect and appreciate each other’s differences.