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Reflections on Practice – SSWs Diving In

Reflections on Practice – SSWs Diving In

School social workers need to be everywhere at once.

We are:

  • In classrooms and in our offices and in the lunchroom.
  • On the playground and doing home visits.
  • Assessing and measuring and seeking to understand our students and their families.
  • Working with groups, addressing the whole school and speaking to students individually.
  • Putting out fires and making peace and teaching students to get along.

And we help teachers and students work as a team and succeed.

It is crucial that we take the time we need to learn from one another. There are so many good ideas out there, and it is time that school social workers start sharing. Think of all the collective wisdom in your building. Now think about how much you learn when you step outside of your building. There is much we all have to offer, and SSWN wants you to add your voice to the discussion.

What would you have wanted to know before entering practice? What have you learned from your first year? From your first five? How can your ten years or more of practice help shape the social work profession? Only through reflection and sharing.

The Reflections on Practice section of SSWN is a space to learn about what school social workers are doing and thinking. Our hope is that it will also be a space to remind us all why we do what we do.

We are seeking school social workers to participate in this section and become an active part of our process of reflection. The Reflections on Practice section is where you can find (and share!) fresh ideas. It is also a great place to learn from what others have tried. Please contact Ruth Orme-Johnson if you would like to impart your experience with fellow school social workers.

About The Author(s)


Ruth Orme-Johnson is a school social worker at James Giles Elementary School in Norridge, Illinois. She earned her MSW from Boston University in 2012 and a Bachelors of Education in Social Policy from Northwestern University in 2009. Prior to school social work, Ruth was in non-profit fundraising for five years.

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