Samantha Trickey, School Psychology Sequence, Jacob Hiatt School of Education

Samantha Trickey '07 knew she wanted to major in psychology when she came to Clark, but she wasn't sure how she would use that major after she graduated. She did know she wanted to work with children, and the school psychology course sequence offered through Clark's education department opened her eyes to a career working with children in a school setting. She has been accepted to the Tufts University M.A./C.A.G.S. (Masters/Certificate of advanced graduate study) in school psychology program.

For the school psychology sequence offered through the education department, I understand you're required to complete a two semester internship. What does your internship consist of?

I'm working about 8-10 hours per week at an elementary school under the supervision of the school counselor. Being in the elementary school, I could work with K through 6. My actual assignments I work more with the upper grades. I do an anti-violence program in a second grade class and a third grade class, each once a week and then I run lunch groups for kids identified as needing extra social help. I have one for third and fourth grade boys and one for fifth and sixth grade girls. It's a lot of fun.

What kinds of activities do you do with the children?

I actually just came from there today. I taught my 3rd grade class, which is a program called Second Step. So it's pretty well planned out for me, teaching kids how to solve problems was actually our topic today. There was a little video we showed and then we talked about it afterwards: ways to calm yourself down, methods for approaching a problem.and how to solve it. Basically step by step and then we go into anger management and stuff as the lesson progresses.

The lunch groups are sort of free-form. I work with another intern and we think of projects or activities we want to do every week. In the girls' group, for example, there were two girls that were having a conflict, and since we do journal entries with the girls, we centered a journal entry around that particular issue. We talked (and they wrote) about what you do when someone hurts your feelings, and what you do when you find out you've hurt someone else's feelings. And we work to incorporate that into the group and hope that it helps them outside of the group as well.

One of the things we did with the boys' lunch group was to play a kind of "pictionary" with play-dough instead of drawings. We try to think of games and activities where the boys are having fun, but also interacting with each other. The other intern and I are there to help assist and guide with social interactions.

Do you have to write a paper in conjunction with the internship?

Not for the internship specifically. I know that my professor receives an evaluation from my intern advisor at the end of the semester. The evaluation gives my professor an overview of what my role was within the school and how my performance was. But I'm also taking a course on social policy, and those of us in the school psychology sequence have to write a paper analyzing a policy that we've seen in action within the school.