Tuesday, February 5, 2013

National School Counseling Week 2013: Tuesday

Dear readers, if I could conceivably share these muffins, coffee-cake, and lemon-bread that a student of mine baked for me to celebrate National School Counseling Week, I would.  My hope is that you can smell them through the computer/tablet/phone screen.

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.

We do not do this work with any expectation of thanks.  Still, it is really nice to hear on occasion.  However, just in case no one else has said it to you thus far this week...

 

7 comments:

  1. Beautiful post, Darrell! Such a privilege to have breakfast with you this weekend. Can't wait for more time in Philly!

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    1. Great to see you too! Philly also has wonderful places for breakfast. :)

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  2. Darrell! This post is like a recruiting letter for School Counselors--- Genuine. Passionate. Caring. Reflective. Fulfilling. One can tell that you cherish this profession. There is a quote, "Service is the rent we pay for living." I can't place who said it, but this post conjures that up. Thanks so much for the reminder. Be well- Marty (Sorry for the technical difficulties).

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    1. I love that quote. Thanks for your comments yesterday that helped to inspire this post.

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  3. I think all of your hardwork is commendable! It's great to see that you have students who actively demonstrate their appreciation. In honor of National Counselors Week we at TestRocker just wrote a blog about how students can make the work of their college counselors easier, would love your thoughts! http://bit.ly/X9w6Z9

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  4. Your blog posts are always so inspirational. Only School Counselors can understand why we do what we do, day in and day out; we are a special breed. We will never be rich, monetarily, but we are millionaires in so many other ways, ways that we value because of who we are, what we do, and our personal dedication to the world and those we serve.

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    1. Well put. There is a great deal to be said for choosing a career in which you give to others--the ripples of your work can be seen for many years to come.

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