BY: BILLY MACKINLAY
I am currently interning at Westwood High School in the Flex Program under their psychologist Ms. Whitney Kimbar. While I am here I have the responsibilities of a regular aid or special education teacher (helping with homework, organization, and other academic needs.) But since I have a focus on the Psychology aspect, I also attend therapy sessions with students.
On a typical day I arrive at around 7:20 am. Then throughout the day I do my best to involve myself with a particular student each block (the school day is divided into 8 blocks.) I do my best to motivate and help the students through schoolwork or projects that they have either fallen behind on or do not understand how to carry out. Typically this means involving myself in their work, typing or writing down ideas for them, assisting them in things like finding quotes for assignments, clarifying instructions, etc.
In between these sessions with individual students I also participate in therapy sessions with students who are having emotional/psychological problems. I work closely under Ms. Kimbar who runs the meetings and does most of the talking. My role is to observe behavior, and often I add in anything else I feel may need to be said to the student. I think one of the many valuable skills I’ve learned already is how to navigate through a psychological issue as best as possible. Ms. Kimbar is a wiz at this and even just watching her is miraculous. In doing so I’ve picked up some of her abilities to be able to deal with, diffuse, and disengage certain issues or disturbances that are going on with a student.
As of right now, if anyone is interested in this field and has the chance at this internship I would recommend they go for it. I have learned so much already after being here for a week and a half. As for the unexpected things, I would tell you, but I’m not legally allowed to due to confidentiality!
Billy MacKinlay is a psychology major at the University of Delaware graduating in 2018