What Does a Day Look Like for a School Psychologist?

School Psychologists have varied responsibilities. They move between schools and keep a steady schedule of appointments and impromptu meetings. What is the day in the life of a school psychologist like?


The school psychologist arrives early; he has a testing session scheduled during the first class. He checks his message box and finds a stack of notes from teachers and the principal.


The psychologist sits in his school office and returns calls to parents from whom he received notes. Sometimes this “desk” time is sacrificed to problem solving. According to the “Students Grow Blogspot” School psychologists cannot structure their days.


The first testing of the day is to determine how a child learns. After retrieving the child from class, the psychologist administers language-based reasoning and memory tests and a drawing test. Afterward, he escorts the child back to class. Another day, at this time, he stood outside a classroom in the hall to observe a child in class so that he could evaluate the boy’s behavior.


As he returns from taking the child back to class, he is stopped by a teacher. Two of her students are fighting daily in class. Could he do a mediation? He agrees and tentatively sets up a time. His next counseling appointment is waiting outside his door. He uses play therapy, card games, even basketball to put the kids at ease. This child has family problems and her unsettled home life is taking its toll on her learning ability. The next counseling appointment is a young boy who is dealing with some anger issues. There could be some domestic violence in the home, but the child is new to counseling and the psychologist must earn his trust before he can broach the subject with him. And, asMary Ann Colucci states in her article, sometimes the efforts of the psychologist are not enough to make an immediate difference.


The psychologist grabs a hurried lunch and heads to the other school where he is employed for yet another meeting. This one concerns a special needs child. The parents, who could only come over the noon hour, and teacher want more services for him. During the meeting the child rocks back and forth and doesn’t seem cognizant of those around him. Giving him more services is not cost-effective. It is a cold way to make a judgment, but the psychologist facilitates the decision-making and then goes back to his office.


The psychologist scores his testing and writes two reports. Then he glances over the testing he did on the boy’s learning patterns, before attending the child’s Individualized Education Profile (IEP) meeting.


The day is nearly over. The children have gone home, and the school is quiet. The psychologist returns one more phone call and packs up his laptop and testing materials. The next day begins at the other school.

This “day” is a composite from several psychologists. Sometimes days go smoother. Sometimes they are challenging, but never are they boring.