Kelly Counselor's Conversations

A discussion about life and how school counseling fits into it all

Don’t Poop on my Parade

on February 8, 2015

I’ve been asked several time in my now almost three months as a high school counselor, “it’s pretty different from the elementary world, isn’t it?”

I love that I’m always able to reply, “surprisingly, not as much as I thought.”

Sure, there are definitely differences- the ebb and flow of the school day schedule, developmental level, scheduling, etc., but the foundational components are the same.  I’m here to directly serve students to help them be successful in the personal/social, academic, and career domains.  I advocate for students and their families when needed.  I collaborate with staff, parents, and the community to support those I serve.  And I use data to inform the decisions I make.

Sadly, many people, including some counselors themselves, don’t believe this.  I was told a lot before I started, “they don’t care at the high school; they have given up on kids; make sure you don’t become jaded”, and so on.  And I’ve seen small elements of this already.

But mostly, I’ve seen a staff whose embraced that I’m different, and students who have thanked me for teaching them something they hadn’t known before.  They didn’t make fun of me the first time I visited a classroom (as I had feared) or sent them thank yous for National School Counseling Week (as I had feared).

The reality is, just as I have to support ALL students, I have to work with ALL staff to support students, whether they’re on “my ship” or not.  There will always be 10-20% of those who won’t get or like what I’m doing.  I can’t ignore them.  I can’t refuse to work with them.  But I don’t have to condone it.  And I can hope that my work, day in and day out, will help them realize I’m using this one chance of a career I have to its fullest.

Just as I told a group of students the other day, “show up.  And I don’t mean just come and fill a seat everyday.  Be focused.  Be intentional.”

Ship quote

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One response to “Don’t Poop on my Parade

  1. Jan says:

    This is great, Kelly. Glad you are lovin’ it. “Show up.” That’s what Jim always say when someone asks for advice when another is in crisis. Show up.

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