Meredith Officer has been a school counselor in Metro National Middle School for three years. She primarily works with students from the 5th and the 6th grade. Counseling covers a lot of aspects which help students to keep up with the school requirements starting from advising on classes to providing with all the necessary equipment, conditions which are significant for their performance. A little surprise in her speech was that parents often do not cooperate with counselors. There is now more parent involvement with virtual education than offline (M. Officer, personal communication, March 19, 2021). This is due to the fact that more engagement of families ensures the students are adapting well to a new environment and see parental support at the time of the pandemic. It is interesting how pandemic forced this profession’s scope to move from purely academic to lifestyle, wellbeing, relationships between children, and situations at home.
It is a highly overwhelming occupation since the speaker indicates that they have to face conversations with students who usually have life issues, and it is not easy to stay professional and not get personal when you immerse yourself in someone’s situation. Thus, the job requires a person to make the right priorities and being empathetic but logical at the same time.
The second speaker works with the older children in high school. She states it involves many additional responsibilities compared to middle schools (A. Mentol, personal communication, March 19, 2021). It is a large community where school counselors can exchange ideas or necessary items or provisions for students with each other. A massive portion of the work is gathering accurate data about students’ wellbeing and their opinions. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support program (PBIS) has helped her to keep the students motivated. In her situation, they have quite a big faculty of counseling which can deal with various situations such as assistance in coping with trauma or providing supplies to those who are in need financially (A. Mentoll, personal communication, March 19, 2021). It was useful to learn the way partner organizations can help in this kind of situation.
It was challenging for the last speaker to adjust to his current school he is working at. This is due to a large number of problematic students with behavior issues (W. Fegg, personal communication, March 19, 2021). All the counselors kept leaving this school due to this difficulty. This reminds the role of individuality in each case. It is crucial to create specific strategies for each case scenario. The speaker also mentions that one counselor cannot cover the entire school. Hence, it is essential to focus only on a small group of children at a time. It is easier to work with small groups to make the change at school.
He raises the problem of teachers’ inability to react to student traumas and hardships at home professionally. They do have the necessary resistance, and some even show ignorance towards life outside the classroom (W. Fegg, personal communication, March 19, 2021). Therefore, schools are in urgent need to have trainings for teachers on the support of students. It demonstrates that it is critical to involve other people to work on helping students.
Each of the speakers had a unique experience with specific cases. This shows how multidimensional the profession is and the need to acquire the skill of adaptability. They all highlight the necessity of staying calm and cool despite the students’ aggressive behavior or emotional setting. I like how counselors try to survey and control each student’s progress and always check if someone might need their help. It is amazing how important the roles of school counselors in maintain order and stability at schools.
Fegg, W. (2021). Personal Communication.
Mentol, A. (2021). Personal Communication.
Officer, M. (2021). Personal Communication.