headshot of  Annemarie Pickering_2022
Behind the Desk of a School Psychology Student
Annemarie Pickering

One small school to the next! Last year Annemarie, who is originally from San Antonio, repatriated back to the lone star state after doing her undergraduate degree at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma. She graduated in 2020 with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Women and Gender Studies. Annemarie is now in her second year of Trinity’s Master of Arts in School Psychology Program. 

Annemarie was inspired to pursue a career in School Psychology because her mother was a school psychologist. “My mom knew school psychology would be the perfect fit, and it’s been cool to talk to her about where the field is now versus when she started,” Annemarie said.  

Annemarie and her mother have definitely had different experiences. In the past, her mother had to score everything by hand, learned different terms than the ones used now, and had to work under a psychiatrist. Another major but unforeseen difference between their experiences was the pandemic. Annemarie started her School Psychology Program with most of her classes online but has now transitioned to learning fully on campus and in the field. “I liked it being virtual, but I love being in person,” Annemarie said.  

Some of Annemarie’s favorite classes include Dr. Owen’s assessment class that taught her the basics of cognitive testing. She also loves Dr. Aleman’s class, Educational Leadership, where she learned about the school to prison pipeline and institutional racism and how these subjects impact the field school psychologists work in. “The education system has so many different facets to it, and they all interconnect,” Annemarie said. 

For her practicum Annemarie is working with A.I.M., a psychology center that offers specialized educational services and evaluations. At A.I.M., she works with two Licensed School Psychologists (LSSP) in conjunction with The Gathering Place, a new charter elementary school. “What we learn in the classroom, we're actually doing it out in the field. This is a lot different than simply learning from textbooks,” Annemarie said.   

Annemarie has found the field of school psychology to be complex, unique, and versatile. Especially with the age ranges that LSSPs can work with, anywhere from elementary to highschool students. Annemarie’s favorite group is the elementary age, when school psychology services can be more preventative. “Getting them the support they need early, so they're not struggling when they get to middle school or high school… I love that aspect of it,” Annemarie said. 

One thing that Annemarie has loved about Trinity’s School Psychology Program is that it allowed her to start her graduate assistantship during her first year. This allowed her to get her feet wet by using test kits and protocols at A.I.M. She also enjoys actual classroom experience at The Gathering Place, where she learns first-hand about reports, recommendations, and how they are enacted in the classroom to benefit the kids. “Otherwise, I wouldn't know what Special Education teachers do on a daily basis or even what general education teachers are like,” Annemarie said. “I wouldn’t understand why teachers want to recommend certain kids for Special Education, so it's definitely helped a lot.”

Overall, Annemarie loves the program and feels like Trinity is the perfect school for her. She especially likes the structure of Trinity’s cohort model, where the same people take all the classes together with the same faculty. “We're all learning and experiencing things together. It’s an amazingly supportive environment” Annemarie said. 
 

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