Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Interview With a Psychologist: Part 8 of the Blog Chronicles

The interview series continues, albeit slowly! The responses keep trickling in and I am so happy with this week's installment! I love these responses. They are honest and thought-provoking!

How do you see a true multidisciplinary team functioning?
In my view, the goal of multidisciplinary teams is to generate useful information to answer questions.
How is the student functioning? What does the student need? What can help the student perform to the best of his/her ability, etc? The answers to these questions lie in the data, both quantitative and qualitative, that team members provide. An effective multidisciplinary team is one in which respectful collaboration and sharing, as well as scrutiny, of pertinent information is highly valued and “safely” implemented. Decisions should be data driven and the impact of emotional factors affecting sound decisions should be managed and if possible avoided. Team members should be valued for their expertise and should avoid makings statements that exceed that expertise. Parents are integral members of the team and should be treated as such.

What message do you have for the powers that be (administration, DOE, elected officials, etc. Your choice).
There is a lot of information that needs to be considered when making educational decisions. It’s really important to avoid assumptions based on incomplete information or ineffectual weighting of certain information. Be supportive of people and of what they are doing.

What do you see as the most pressing issue impacting our students today? Why?
Lack of sleep. Kids are sleeping less and recent studies demonstrate that sleep duration accounts for as much as 64% of the variance in cognitive processes essential to academic functioning. Emotional and behavioral instability as well motivational and physical difficulties is also related to sleep deprivation.

Technology. The explosion of technology over the past twenty years has resulted in the development of amazing tools designed to facilitate learning. The downside is that kids have quick and easy access to all kinds of information – some of which they are not developmentally ready to handle. I also have deep concerns about social media and its impact on the development of social skills as well as its use as a bully weapon. Finally, immediate access to parents and other people via cell phones has many advantages. I do wonder however if the development of critical self soothing skills is interfered with because kids are often quickly rescued from anxiety provoking situations by being able to make immediate calls. 

What energizes you to come to work everyday? What keeps it "fresh" for you?
It’s all about the kids, I like kids and I like being around kids. They have great spirit and the number one priority for most is having fun. They’re healthy for me to be around. Helping kids solve problems and watching them mature and is gratifying and entertaining.

Describe your dream work environment? How does your dream compare with your reality?
How can you make it a reality?

Honestly, it would be on a stage playing my guitar and singing to thousands of adoring fans. I’ve been trying to make it a reality for 43 years. I like seeing people happy having fun. That would be a good way to do it.

As the parent of two teenagers and a witness to the effects of sleep deprivation, I couldn't agree more! Well, when this psychologist makes it to the stage, I'll be there to applaud (and dance, and cheer)!


  1. Replies
    1. Bridget, I agree! I loved these responses!

  2. Love this perspective. Lack of sleep and technology, with the connection to children that lack critical thinking skills. Sadly, spot on! Something to keep in mind for my own children! School psychs are some of my favorite people!