In my post yesterday, I included some photos of the decorations outside and inside of my office. The students, families, administration, and staff at my school treat us extremely well, not only during this particular week, but all year long. In response to that post, Marty Stevens over at This Counselor's Journey responded on Twitter that I must be "filled with humility." Indeed, I am.
To be a school counselor is to dedicate yourself to a life of service. We give of ourselves on a daily basis through our time and through our emotional energy. We provide what so many people in this non-stop, on-the-go world are looking for--someone to simply listen and acknowledge their thoughts and feelings. We are constantly giving of ourselves to our students, their families, the school community, and to the community-at-large. Not everyone can do this work. So often when we talk about our careers in education with others the response is, "I could never do that." Yet, fellow school counselors, we can. Somewhere, we are hard-wired to advocate for those who need extra help, to provide an ear when no one else will seem to listen, and to believe in the ability of kids to succeed even if the faith of others has faltered. This mission to lend aid, to better humanity, to level the playing field, to bring joy and comfort and hope is what drives me to walk that free-reduced lunch paperwork down to the cafeteria directly versus having the student put it in the mail because I know it will go through faster. It is why I attend that IEP meeting to lend my voice to a student who needs more services. It is why I find peer-tutoring for a first-generation college-bound student so that they can have the support they need to be academically successful and meet that dream of attending a university.
I am humbled every day by my job, and I work very hard not to forget the place of privilege that I possess in our culture. I will never be a millionaire, but I have had the emotional and financial support of a loving family, vast educational and artistic experiences, and professional opportunities that have never left me wondering where my next meal will come from, where I will sleep at night, whether anyone in this world loves me, and whether I will be able to achieve my dreams. My hope, and the hope of school counselors everywhere, is that through our efforts we can help others find the same security, sense of belonging, and wings for their dreams.