Welcome to our blog! This is Rebecca Branstetter, founder of Thriving Students Collective. I’m a school psychologist, author, speaker (and mom of two!), and I want to share a tale of an experiment on the Internet turned global mission…
In 2007, I started a little blog called “Notes from the School Psychologist” where I mused aloud into cyberspace (with a verrrrrrry ugly webpage) about how to help kids, and survive in this wild and wonderful profession of school psychology.
I started a Facebook “Fan Page” (as they were called at the time) for the blog, felt a little weird about having a fan page, and then something magic happened.
Almost overnight, 10,000 school psychs were in my Facebook page, wanting to connect with each other.
I started hearing from school psychologists across the country that they no longer felt so alone. School psychologists started sharing that my blog posts should come with a warning label: “WARNING: May make you laugh so hard you will spit out your coffee on your computer.” Some wrote me that my posts made them cry because they finally felt SEEN. And a beautiful school psychologist community was born.
Whoa….I did not see THAT coming.
Then, in 2017, I embarked on a bigger mission to band together with my fellow school psychologists to find a way to be more than “testing machines” and have a bigger impact with our students and school communities. I created my first online course, The Thriving School Psychologist Collective.
It was kinda an experiment, if I’m being honest.
I had just come out of almost a decade of feeling burned out. I had embarked on a deep “ME-search” (excuse me, RE-search) project on how to stay in a profession I loved, but was draining me.
And in that time, I discovered that there were 4 Pillars of Thriving that made me feel the optimism I once had–that I could make a big impact in the lives of children.
I wondered if my 4 Pillars system would work for other school psychologists who were also on the brink of quitting, like I had been. I wondered if anyone would join me to find a better way to tend to the needs of our students without burning our own self-care to the ground.
Just five years later, nearly 1000+ school psychologists joined the Thriving School Psychologist Collective course and community, and our school psychologist Facebook page grew to over 18,000!
I’m humbled, honored, and grateful every day for this incredible community holding 👏 it 👏 down 👏 for our kids day in and day out in extremely stressful circumstances.
Because let’s face it: Our students are experiencing significant mental health and learning challenges, only exacerbated by the pandemic.
None of us–parents, school psychologists, teachers– can help the kids we care about if we are also stressed out and on the brink of burnout.
That’s why we’ve expanded the Thriving School Psychologist to include thriving parents, educators, and districts in our new organization, The Thriving Students Collective.™ (But don’t worry, Thriving School Psychologist isn’t going anywhere!)
For those of you who have been with me from the start, thank you!!! It’s been an incredible journey so far, and we’re just getting started…
Have a peek around our new site (and mission) glow up!!! 💻✨