Thursday, August 27, 2015

The "guidance counselor" has left the building!

I wrote this in our school's weekly newsletter hoping to get the word out on our name and why we should be called it! Advocating for ourselves is a huge part of our role, and I am very thankful for a administration that supports me. 

The "Guidance Counselor" Has Left the Building

No, the title is not a typo. The "guidance counselor" is gone and the "school counselor" is here! The term guidance counselor implies that I am the only person "guiding" our students.
This couldn't be farther from the truth! I help guide students, but so does every other adult in this building. The American School Counselor Association changed the name of our title a few years ago to appropriately call us what we are: counselors who happen to be in a school. Hence, the school counselor was named!
The role of the counselor is a unique one; I do not have a homeroom, I am not administration, and I do not have "direct reports." I have the opportunity to work with every student, every teacher, every person in the school! 
As adults, we would never talk to a counselor about our life whom we did not have a relationship with. I feel that way for students too. If the students do not know me, they will not want to talk to me about concerns, life struggles or what  they are going through. I try to develop relationships with every student through a variety of ways. 
Inviting the students to lunch bunch is a great time to play games, eat (one of my favorite things to do), and chat about their passions. I also go in classrooms to conduct lessons on character education, academic skills, conflict resolution, and more! In addition to those touch points, I have small groups for specific issues, such as changing families, self-esteem, being a boy groups, and effectively coping. 
I am meeting your children in the cafeteria, at arrival, dismissal, and in the hallways. The teachers have been very kind in helping me get acclimated, and have invited me to their rooms to get to know their students. 
I look forward to working with families from every grade as I continue to get to know them. Please introduce yourself when you see me around campus. Knowing faces and names is a top priority of mine and my goal is to know every face in this beautiful school. 

Amanda Sheroff