Thursday, February 7, 2013

National School Counseling Week 2013: Thursday

Many schools have class rocks, a rock that each class paints and repaints each year to show their school spirit.  At my school, we really only have one rock that serves as part billboard, part spirit-builder, and part emotional outlet.  If we have school plays coming up, the rock will magically be painted overnight by little elves to promote the latest theatrical production.  If one of our sports teams makes it to a playoff, the dawn arrives and announce to all that we need to show our support.  What always catches me, though, is when the inevitable events that transpire in life leave our community unable to find the words to express how we feel, the rock becomes a reflection of our grief, our despair, our inability to make sense of things that are senseless.  Ironically, in these moments, this inanimate rock of stone embodies our humanity.  This is what it currently shares:

This week allows us to take time to celebrate our work with our schools and communities, as well as sharing with our stakeholders the value of the job that we undertake on a daily basis.  I was extremely moved today by this video from California.  California has some of the highest ratios of students to counselors, 1016 students to 1 counselor according to the American School Counselor Association.  You can see how your state stacks up here.  We are highly trained and can have a strong effect on schools' academic achievement, personal/social education, and post-secondary outcomes.  However, we must have realistic and manageable caseloads in order to bring about systemic changes that directly impact students, families, communities, and society at large.  The students here bring home the power of our profession:

As we draw into the final day of National School Counseling Week, my hope is that you have been offered moments of thanks from your own students.  We have become a data-driven, focused profession that measures our impact through student outcomes, but it is nice to receive those warm-fuzzies from time to well as some cake.

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