- by Counselor Up
In honor of Thanksgiving, I am going to be writing a gratitude journal. I am so thankful for today, especially the coffee that I spilled, the milk that was spoiled, the kid that spit on me in 3rd period. But I digress. I am honored and grateful to be a school counselor and these are a few of my favorite things (picture me spinning on a hilltop).
Just when I thought I was so hungry I might begin to digest myself in some desperate bid for survival, I walk into the break room. I’m pretty sure I left a yogurt in there a few weeks ago and it might still be OK. It could be questionable, but life is precious and I’m willing to take the necessary risks to make it til the end of the day. Seriously, my grandma would be ill-advised to get between me and food right now. But then. But then! I spy a plate of pumpkin spice muffins on the table. Not just any muffins but delicious, amazing muffins from that mom that can bake instead of the one where you check everything for cat hair. I’m not going to lie, my eyes fill with grateful tears and I’m pretty sure there is a muffin fairy after all. A glorious muffin fairy who might have saved my grandma from serious bodily harm.
I finished my day without having to do any major crisis interventions at dismissal, aside from mediating a dispute over the last pumpkin spice muffin. I think that I might be able to get enough energy to clean up my email so I can find my email happy place, when I remember that we have the 1,285th staff meeting of the semester after school. I’m not really sure what’s on the agenda, but it’s probably bloodborne pathogens or emergency plans in case of a bear attack or some other thrilling topic. I start to pick up my planner and laptop to head to the media center when I hear the all call, “attention staff, the meeting today has been cancelled.” I can barely hear myself think over the shouts of joy in the hallway. Immediately, I imagine all the fun that my work friends and I can have instead of a meeting. Cupcakes, balloons, applying all the Minecraft advice we get from our students, getting home before dinner is cold. The world is our oyster. Haven’t seen that baking mom but at least my email will be answered and tomorrow planned.
Every day I wake up and think that the person who invented such comfortable heels really should get an award. I mean, I literally run half the day. On concrete floors. But I feel like I’m walking on air. Just kidding, comfortable heels don’t really exist. I’m grateful that while my school’s dress code strictly forbids many things, I am free to wear comfortable shoes. They may not be the most beautiful ever but I can rock my teacher shoes on the daily.
Let’s get real. Sometimes I work until my fingers are short bleeding nubs to try to help a student and then nothing. We try new ideas, I try wrap around services, we try new team meetings. Nothing. But when an intervention works. When it really works. The kid does better. They learn more. They smile at their success. Yeah, it doesn’t get any better than that.
As you know, diary, in our state, teachers are required to have one hour of planning time a day. It’s OK, I’ll pause while you finish laughing……… Ready? Yeah, so counselors aren’t considered teachers. When was the last time I took planning time on an actual school day? Hmmm. Hold on. Let me look at my planner. Still looking. Wait, just a minute. OK, sorry – I’m back. I don’t remember. But, today. Today! I sat at my desk while 4th grade was on a field trip and actually made some plans. And updated my curriculum plan. And returned phone calls. It was amazing. I think I will float on a cloud all day.
Finally, my dear diary, today I got a call from the parent of a child that I worked with a few years ago. He had a dream to get into college with a scholarship. And guess what? He got it! Nothing is better than watching the smiles on my students’ faces and the tears in their parents’ eyes. Cause you know? I really do have the best job out there.
Thanks, diary, I needed that!
I work in central office supporting 140+ elementary school counselors in a large southern school district. I have been a counselor since 2003 and love working with parents, teachers, students, and other counselors. I try to be organized and proactive in my counseling program. Counselor Up is my way to share some of the ideas, organizing tools, and planning with you!
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