Editor's Note: What a Profession
Volume 45 Issue 3
By John E. Desrochers
I almost decided not to write my column this month. There is, intentionally or not, usually some sort of theme among the articles that I can write about. But seriously … look at the table of contents! On the front page you've got a success story about urban school psychologists taking the lead in a collaborative effort to reform mental health services in Boston, a discussion about clinical supervision of school psychologists (a hot issue in my state), and an authoritative distillation of a major report on ADHD from the Office for Civil Rights. Can you help me find the unifying theme?
Look some more. Inside you have articles about working across cultures, school safety and school resource officers, race and privilege, ESSA and the critical need for grassroots action by school psychologists, School Psychology Awareness Week (this month, by the way), state laws for FBAs and BIPs, tele-counseling, social justice, starting a career in academia, and the NASP elections. A theme, anyone? Even the convention news doesn't help; it features the history and culture of San Antonio, manifestation determination meetings, and NASP-approved CPD. What a publication! What a profession!
Maybe our work doesn't easily fit into one or two unifying themes. Maybe our field is changing so fast that every aspect of it seems to be shifting at once. Maybe we just move ahead (small steps, as Melissa Reeves says) and keep our focus on helping students and families even if at times it seems like everything we know is up for grabs. And maybe that's really OK.
I've always been proud that Communiqué covers our field so inclusively. Maybe that is some sort of theme. Communiqué, like school psychology itself, is like a grand hotel. There is room for everyone. All the concerns and traditions of the profession are welcome. Some come for a brief stay, some return every season, some even live here. And they certainly aren't all related. But they are all here to help us take those small steps we take to help our clients. At least it's an exciting place to be!
Let me list a few final notes before I close. Remember to vote for your president, secretary, and delegate (see page 17); register for the NASP 2017 Annual Convention in San Antonio (see page 28–30); and find some way to work with local and state policy makers to make sure that their ESSA plans include comprehensive school psychological services that ensure the success of our students (see page 16). ESSA, like No Child Left Behind before it, will influence how we work and how students are treated in schools for years to come.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families. We have a lot to be grateful for.
—John E. Desrochers