by Tabitha Panariso, Guest Blogger
Let’s not call this thing off.
It may seem silly to get upset over a title. These days though, it’s all in the name.
These days, a ‘guidance counselor’ is a thing of the past.
It’s All in a Name
Recently, I asked several of my Facebook friends to comment on a post regarding a counselor who may have impacted them in a positive way. One of the comments illustrated the perspective many adults these days had of their own ‘guidance counselor’. He “smoked and drank too much coffee and smelled gross. He called me in his office to tell me to NOT cut in the lunch line.”
Counselors’ like Glee’s own Emma illustrate a hand’s off approach, only taking the time to deal with a student’s schedule or handing out awkward brochures. These are the counselors who didn’t collaborate with their fellow educators. These are the counselors who are underutilized, undervalued, and take a reactive stance to situations in their building and school community.
As this week was National School Counseling Week, I felt it was important to address this tragic transgression and to remind you, the teacher, of the incredible and impactful resource that you have close to hand.
Okay, so the coffee part- that’s still true. But rather than an opportunity to take a break. Coffee serves us the energy required to:
- * Check in with kids who are struggling, who are in the RTI process, who just need a little TLC
- * Visit classrooms and teach character education lessons
- * Meet with teachers and parents for 504 plans
- * Meet consistently with small groups of kids about divorce, deployment, friendship skills, and more
- * Triage crisis situations
- * Create and implement school wide programs to create a positive climate
- * Work with individual students on academics, social and emotional, and personal struggles
- * Prepare students for college and career choices.
The point is there is a lot of work to be done. And school counselors want nothing more than to work with teachers and administration to proactively make a positive difference in our children’s lives. But what it takes is a shift in perspective from those around us. Not just in label, but cognitively as well.
So if you don’t do anything this week at all but one thing- do this. Give them the opportunity and the chance to work for you and your kiddos. Let them collaborate with you on a student who has been struggling emotionally and behaviorally. Invite them into your classroom to teach.
We can’t do our job without you. Your support. Your advocacy.
About the Author
Tabitha is a K-12 certified school counselor, nationally certified counselor, and blogger at Scrapbook of a School Counselor, where she creates and collects relevant resources for School Counselors. When she isn’t on the internet you can find her in the mountains, drinking a cup of tea, or hanging out with her husband. Connect with her viaTwitter and become a fan of the Scrapbook of a School Counselor Facebook page to follow the exploits of a second year school counselor.