It’s National School Counselor Week. This is the week where School Counselors, like myself, inform people about our positions. It’s a time to advocate for our profession and let people know what we really do. To start of this week, I want to tell you how I came to be a School Counselor.
I remember in 3rd grade deciding that I wanted to be an art teacher. I loved to draw and create things. When I was in middle school, I used to paint my nails nightly. It wasn’t just a solid color- I made designs. When the Yankees were playing, I painted jerseys on my nails with the numbers of my favorite players. I made faces and shapes and all kinds of things. After middle school I still wanted to be an art teacher. Art and music were my “thing”. I was in the marching band and happily played my flute or piccolo.
I got to high school and took Studio Art and loved it. When I went to see my guidance counselor to schedule my classes for the next semester, she killed my dream. She said she wasn’t going to let me waste my brain on art and would not register me for the classes I wanted. She was supposed to guide me- she was the guidance counselor after all. So I changed my focus and joined the outdoor club. And I saw the movie Erin Brokovich so then I decided I wanted to be an environmental lawyer.
Science is not my thing. If only someone had told me that when I was in High School. I passed my chemistry exam by one point. I did not do well in science classes. But, I had a brain that I shouldn’t waste, according to the guidance counselor. So I went off to college with a science major.
It was in college that I realized science wasn’t my thing. So I transferred back home and picked Environmental Planning as a degree. I’m still not sure what that was, but I was guided that way when I registered to attend.
One semester of that and I switched to Psychology. While working on that degree, I decided I wanted to teach. But I was in school in NY and you can’t get a teaching license with an undergraduate degree in Psychology. That led me to researching other career paths that I could take. I stumbled upon School Counseling and it just fit with what I dreamed of doing.
Notice I said “School” and not “Guidance”. I am a School Counselor. And my path to this career started with a Guidance Counselor.