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May 27, 2020

Alumni on the Frontlines: Erin Dibble’14 (School Psychology, M.S. with a Certificate of Advanced Study)

Where do you work as a school psychologist?

I work as a school psychologist at Council Rock Primary School in Brighton Central School District

What is it like to be a school psychologist during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Being a school psychologist during the pandemic has been interesting and challenging. Thankfully, I have been able to keep up engagement and even hold most of my meetings via an online meeting platform. I feel very grateful for the technology that is at our disposal in order to keep things “running”. In some ways, practicing remotely has increased my consultation with others. I am frequently meeting with and supporting educational teams and families through this time. The most difficult part for me is the lack of daily interaction with all of my students. I miss them terribly!

How did the program you studied at Roberts prepare you for this health crisis?

My program had an emphasis on identifying and supporting the mental health needs of different student populations. The social and emotional repercussions from this closure are something that I am keenly aware of as I provide support throughout this time.

Additionally, my program at Roberts certainly helped me learn to have balance in my life which is definitely helping me now. While staying dedicated and focused on my work as a school psychologist, I also know that I need to balance that with the social/emotional and educational needs of my own children and family.

How do you remain positive?

I have been able to keep a positive attitude by setting time aside to check-in and play games with my kids, taking daily walks with my dog and enjoy any glimmers of nice weather outside. I encourage others that I work with to do the same. It’s easy to feel like you are attached to your computer screen 24/7, but I do encourage others to set some time away from the computer screen each day—Setting some time away from the computer (even if it is just 30 minutes) knowing that it will be back waiting for you once you take some time for yourself. Self-care is such an important skill for all of us to be practicing, especially now.

How can others support school psychologists and teachers during the pandemic?

Community members and parents can show their support by communicating with us about how we can help. School psychologists (I think by nature) want to help! Of course we are in communication with many families and students, but without the daily access to our students, we are relying on the communication of parents to know how to help support their children.

Secondly, to support teachers, finding a way to show your appreciation and admiration for all they are doing for their students is a great way to show support.

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