Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Role of the School Counselor

by Amanda Padden

After reading Stephanie Worthley’s recent blog post about National School Counseling week I took a moment to reflect on how much I love my job. As Mrs. Worthley mentioned, at any time of day each counselor might be doing something completely different ranging from scheduling, to supporting a student with a mental health problem, to teaching a vocational unit in a classroom. I love the excitement and variety that comes along with being a school counselor- I never know who will walk through my door next.

When people learn that I’m a school counselor, they often ask if that means I help students apply to college. While this is certainly a part the role, it doesn’t describe the job fully. NPR Ed recently interviewed the School Counselor of the Year, Terri Tchorzynski, about her experience as a school counselor. Tchorzynski broke down the role of a high school school counselor into three different domains: future planning, social/emotional support, and academics (attendance, grades, and scheduling). Tchorzynski notes that one of the most challenging part of the job is to provide students with social and emotional support. There are times when I feel like I want to fix or change something for one of my students and I’m unable to. I am grateful that Medfield has expanded its support services so that students have access to an adjustment counselor and the RISE transition program. Although this part of the job can be challenging, it can also be very rewarding. Any counselor in the district can tell a story about working with a student who has anxiety or depression and watching them make positive progress as a result. It’s stories like these that keep me going and remind me of how valuable and important the work of a school counselor can be.

It’s a privilege to be able to work with students at Medfield every day and there are certainly students here who I can see becoming school counselors in the future!


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