Hannah Rash, a 2015 School Counseling Master’s Candidate in the Department of Counseling and Educational Development in the UNCG School of Education, provides insight into the day to day world of a school counselor.
After officially completing a full month at Northwest High School for my internship, I wanted to give you folks a little insight into the typical day of a school counselor. Unfortunately, I have no idea what that looks like. Before jumping to any conclusions, I’m actually going to my internship – I promise! However, when it comes to school counselors, predictable days are few and far between.
Flexibility is key. I can’t count the times I came in, in the morning with a plan of action and a long to-do list and didn’t get to more than 1 or 2 items. Even as an intern, I’ve often been caught up in the unpredictable entity that is high school and all the people in it. Even with the most well-laid plans and determination to accomplish specific goals, students, teachers, administration, and staff have plans all their own and specific needs that arise each day. From crisis situations, parent drop-ins, teacher concerns to scholarship help, last minute college recommendations and program planning, you never truly know what each day is going to bring.
It’s one of the reasons I love being able to work in the school system. Not only do I have the opportunity to work with such a variety of people, positions, and problems, but how it all plays out keeps me on my toes. Sure, it’s a whirlwind, and it’s hard to really be ready for when you’re celebrating with a student for finally completing that first college application one minute to supporting a student who recently experienced a significant family loss the next, but I wouldn’t wish for it to be any other way. School counselors are in a unique position to be a readily available, consistent resource for students, parents, teachers, and staff, whether they need someone to be happy with them, sad with them, advocate for them, help solve a problem, or just listen. It’s tiring, fulfilling, exciting, and humbling all at the same time.
As cliché as it is, you learn to expect the unexpected.
If I’m being completely honest, the days that no one drops by the office or calls me to a classroom are cherished just as much sometimes. Hey, we all have paperwork to keep up with.
P.S. I hope everyone is keeping wellness in mind! As fall rolls in, take some time to do something revitalizing and relaxing!