Kelly Counselor's Conversations

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

Face Value

When I don’t write for a while, it’s usually for one of two reasons: either I’ve been entirely too busy, or I feel I have nothing to write about.

And neither of these reasons is entirely untrue for the current time lapse between posts, but there is another reason- I feel lately  I’ve been negative in my writing.

A few weeks ago, I had to experience an embarrassing moment with my administrator to come to terms that, really, I’ve been comparing my current school to my former school, and we all know where comparing apples to oranges gets us.

In previous posts, I’ve mentioned attempting to get to another level and come to terms with working in a dramatically different school culture and developmental level. And in the end, who ultimately helped me get to this place?  My husband.

Matt encourages me to often see things at face value and for what they are, not what I think they should be.  This is often tough for me to balance with having a passionate, idealistic, and advocating nature.  But, we all also know balance is good.

I think mentally saying, “this is my school, this is where I choose to be, this is where I am loyal, this is where I want to devote my knowledge and heart, and this is where I will put in the time, and where it is now is where it is now” has really helped give me peace.

When we sit and stew over what is or is not, we hurt ourselves.  When we complain about what doesn’t meet our expectations, we hurt ourselves.  And when yearn for something that never was, we hurt ourselves.  Does it hurt the adults you work with?  Nope.  Does it change the system in itself?  No.  Does not reaching your full potential because you’re “stuck” hurt the students you serve?  You betcha.

The next post won’t be so serious, I promise.

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An “Island” No More

Many elementary schools across the country do not have a fully licensed, trained school counselor on their staff; much fewer schools are blessed to have more than one. This often results in the elementary counselor feeling like an island amongst their own staff, even with good collaboration and advocacy. Add that to inappropriate professional development geared towards classroom teachers that counselors often have to take, and one can see why elementary school counselors often feel alienated.

I know I sometimes felt that way, and I loved my former school and staff, and know they “got” me.

So when I began at my new high school, I was thrilled to finally be working with ANOTHER counselor in the SAME building!

And then I quickly fretted- when I was the only one, at least I could make all the decisions for my program, and only blame myself for my mistakes. There was comfort in that. What if the only other counselor I was now with didn’t jive with me?

I soon felt silly in that fear and should have trusted my principal that he not only hired me for my scope of work, but also in thinking of the relationship I’d have with my “teammate.” With her being a first-year counselor and me being new to the secondary world, we have a lot to learn, but with passion, drive, and immense respect for one another, we’ll move mountains.

Thank you, Anastasia.

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