Monday, June 4, 2012

So What's So Great About Elementary Counseling?

I had a great opportunity to participate on a panel with other awesome school counselors (Kevin McGee, Jessica Ricks, Kelsey Felton & Raelene Daley) for a class of students seeking their master's degree in School Counseling from UNC-Chapel Hill

Counselor Panel: Jessica Ricks, myself, Kelsey Felton, Raelene Daley (not pictured Kevin McGee)
Prior to the panel discussion I was already warned that many of the counseling students were weary about interning or working in an elementary setting, so I had a hard item to sell.  I too was in their shoes.  I taught high school, interned at a high school and thought of course that I'd always work on the high school level.  While interning, I talked with one of the counselors who told me that the elementary level would be a great fit for me.  I thought he was totally wrong, but where was the only place that I got a job offer????  Yep that's right, elementary! 

I absolutely LOVE working on the elementary level, it was an adjustment at first working with younger students, but their energy and excitement is contagious and I feel their great energy too!  There are always pro's and cons at any job but your counseling job is what you make out of it and I choose to make it as awesome as possible!

Here's a few pro's and con's (this list is not complete, just off the top of my head for this post):
Pro's:  The students, working alone, being able to make my own counselor schedule, no school scheduling, total creative control over the counselor program.
Con's: Working alone,  possibility of being test coordinator (I'm not test coordinator now, but was at a previous school), being a specialist (on a scheduled rotation like music, art, PE).

Notice that I have "working alone" as both a pro and con.  Working alone can be great because you get to call the shots, but when you have a lot on your plate, it can be overwhelming at times (thank goodness that I've had an intern to work with).

After giving our "speeches" on what's so great about elementary counseling several students came up to me with more questions about my experiences on the elementary level.  You should work where you feel is the best fit for you.  We encouraged the students to spend a day on a different school level to get a feel for it (elementary's the best by the way!)

What makes working on your school level so great? Pin It

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with you about the working alone aspect. Sometimes it is great and sometimes I just want to pull my hair out!