A few years ago, I had the privilege of presenting, along with the high school principals, to the Worthington City Schools Board of Education on the “State of the High School Programs”. We spent time framing our work to consider the whole child as well as students with different backgrounds, interests, and levels in learning. We shared about the partnerships with various organizations which extended learning beyond the walls of the schools, as well as creating a physically and emotionally safe environment for students to learn and explore. After the presentation, we opened the time to questions that led to a great dialogue to showcase the hard work of our staff and students.
At the conclusion of the evening presentation, I continued to reflect on a statement from a Board Member immediately after the presentation portion of the evening –
It sounds like our School Counselors are doing a lot for our students.
As I reflected on all of the slides about our programs, everything we talked about attached to the direct or indirect work and involvement of our school counselors. While I have an incredible respect for our school counselors and what they do each day, I realized that I neglected to recognize them overtly. I am so glad our Board Members were able to make this great connection of the work with our students to our school counselors.
With the increased and changing requirements on graduation requirements and state testing and needs of our students with mental and social-emotional health supports, I am fortunate to work with such talented and committed school counselors. The role of the counselor has changed. In addition to managing college essays and counseling students, they also create and monitor programs, in social-emotional learning, new student programs, suicide prevention, career development, intervention, and family issues. In my role as a district administrator, they are on my direct dial for many of these efforts.
While I am talking with them in person or on the phone, I am always grateful for not only their knowledge on policies, student issues, and support groups, but also for their positive spirit and attitude, depth of knowledge, advocacy for students, and work above and beyond. There isn’t a week that goes by that I hear from a parent of how a school counselor saved his/her child’s life!
As I continue to observe the changing landscape of education and the needs of our students, I am even more affirmed about these necessary positions in our schools. And, even more, I am honored to share the stories I have experienced with our amazing team of counselors in Worthington City Schools.
This week, as we celebrate National School Counseling Week, I encourage you to reflect on the day-to-day work of the school counselors. If you are as fortunate as I am, you will not only see them working hard with a lot of things happening at once, but you will experience kindness and a genuine passion for helping the whole child.
For these reasons, I hope you will join me in giving a huge thanks to our School Counselors!