Why Bother Celebrating National School Counseling Week?

For the weeks that led up to today I have been reading post after post about celebrating #NSCW16. Many colleagues have stated, “Why should I celebrate National School Counseling Week?  After all, isn’t it a week of appreciation for me?  Don’t I deserve the recognition?  We appreciate our teachers, why not our school counselors?” or simply state “I don’t have time.”    For others, they thought they shouldn’t have to buy treats or presents for the faculty they work with.  

So Batman, Why Bother?

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Let me share with you my reasons why. . .

(I posted this on our Facebook School Counseling pages, but I thought I would post it here as well, in case you are not a part of those groups.)

I’d like to clarify the confusion on this page about National School Counseling Week. NSCW is about promoting our profession, not about counselor appreciation. One does not need to buy presents or treats as a means of promoting what we do, but we should be sharing with our districts what we should be called, what are job responsibilities should be, what our caseloads should be, and how we should best be utilized.

I keep reading, “people should already know what I do”, or “I’m too tired”, or “I’m the one who should be celebrated”. But this is the age old debate on why should I have to bothered advocating for my profession? Why do I have to do this? Things won’t change so why bother trying?

Why bother? Because it bothers me that some of you cover 3 schools. It bothers me that some of you have 1600 students on your own. It bothers me that you have 3 lunch duties instead of Lunch Bunch. It bothers me that you struggle with your administration because they don’t understand what you have been trained to do. It bothers me that some of you have no mentor programs. It bothers me that some of you spend more than 80% of your time with indirect services to students versus the 80% of your time you should be providing direct services to students. It bothers me that some of you have no voice, feel hopeless, and question your worth as a counselor. It bothers me that some people don’t understand the difference between a guidance counselor versus a school counselor, and that some teachers we work with don’t understand what a comprehensive school counseling program means and why it is important and how it can help them.

So why bother? Because I hope these things bother you as well. I hope that you will find the strength to promote our profession. Because that profession helps kids. They are the reason we go to work in the morning. They are reasons why our jobs exists. That are the ones who ultimately benefit from our advocating. If you think it doesn’t matter, you’re wrong. Sometimes it has to be played like a broken record, being repeated over and over again until the words are embedded in our brains. But, it does have impact. Our words matter. Just as words you say to a student may not seem to have any impact, but then years later that student sees you and says, “Remember what you said to me? It made all the difference.”

So please join me in celebrating our profession. You matter. Your kids matter. Your program matters. Our profession makes a difference.

I bothered today to leave another message in teachers’ mailboxes. I am participating in th ASCA #NSCW16 photo challenge. I am talking with my teachers about my trip to the White House and sharing with students why I appreciate them. They are my reason for being here. They are my reason for celebrating. It’s nothing fancy. I spent no money. I just gave a piece of myself. I bothered. Just as I do everyday. I bothered myself to make a difference.

In addition, I want to challenge each one of you reading this. Thank a School Counselor that you know. Give them a shout out. Let him or her know know you appreciate their work. It’s quite simple really, and I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t like to hear a compliment from time to time. So reach out, and say Thank you. Bother yourself to make a difference. It will mean the world.

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