The week of February 5th – 9th is National School Counseling Week, a week to “highlight the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career” (ASCA).
For the past three years, I (Sara Doyle) have been pursuing my master’s in school counseling from Concordia University in Irvine. While progressing through this program, I have been provided with opportunities to work with other school counselors from a variety of districts, as well as to work with students from the ages of six to twenty. Academic support, behavioral analysis and guidance, social skills, emotional well-being, family instability, and college and career readiness are the areas in which I’ve been able both to learn and to put into practice.
School counselors are becoming more of an essential element on school campuses each day. Teachers are usually the first line of defense when a student is in need, but finding an adequate amount of time to set aside in support of individual students is very difficult to do. The primary job of a school counselor is, of course, to be an advocate for the student, but a counselor should also support and work alongside the administration and teaching staff, providing them with resources to use with students. A school, after all, is not just one person; rather, it is a machine of people working together with a common goal, providing top of the line education and support to all students on campus.
We are so blessed at St. John’s! In addition to that educational support, mentioned above, we get to share the reassurance of the Gospel with our students. Providing students with a Christ-centered education is a blessing because Christian educators get to connect with students on a personal level. Sadly, however, there will always be students who need more support than what their teacher can solely give. St. John’s acknowledges that students need extra support to help them work through the stressors of their lives. Next year, I am happy to say, St. John’s will have its first-ever school counselor… Me!
Teaching has always been my passion, but I’ve yearned to be able to support my students in a larger way than I can now. To say I am both excited and honored to be St. John’s first school counselor is an understatement. Words cannot express the love I have for the students at St. John’s. I look forward to advocating for them, I look forward to watching them work through their trials with faith as their encourager, and I look forward to seeing how the students with whom I get to work with will impact my life each day for the better.
Happy National School Counseling Week!
By: Miss Sara Doyle, 6th grade ELA