Saturday, August 10, 2013

What I do as an elementary School Counselor

There are SO many people who care for me, and by doing that, also care for my school. And I got to thinking, that many of them don't even have a clear picture of what I do. So, I thought it might be interesting to share what a day in the life of Ms. Stewart consists of. It might make it as clear as mud, but I will give it a go!

5:30am- Wake up and prepare for the day. This is so much more than just getting dressed. I try to thank God as soon as I wake, for being alive and capable of living a brand new day.

6:30am- I get to work and enjoy the silent peace of a school that is still "sleeping". Answering emails, getting tidy, making sure the "plan" is at least written down.

7:40am- By this time, school has officially started. I've welcomed many of the staff and students with a wide smile and excitement for a new day. I've checked in with my Safety Patrols, and made the first set of rounds, to some of the emotional/behavioral "hot spots". An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure for sure! Sometimes you have issues that follow my kiddies from home. They can come in hungry, frazzled, and angry. And I can read it all over their faces. There are also issues that arise at school, personality conflicts, stress, etc.

11:30am- During the morning, I try to get my classroom guidance lessons done. Because sometimes the afternoons get off the chain:) So, you might find me teaching 5th graders about Conflict vs. Bullying, or 1st graders about Self-Control and identifying the feelings of others. Mixed in with this of course are the everyday crisis situations, that occur often, at a low-performing Title 1 school. Each crisis changes me a bit, and it is my faith in God that is my foundation and it brings me back to what matters. Many times I work with students, and I end up apologizing for the things that adults have done, told or promised them. My heart hurts for the "throwaway children" of this world. I also run small groups.

2:00pm- Usually by now, I am hustling all around the halls trying to help get the school day wrapped up. If I have "lunch" it is with the students, and they end up with most of my lunch. It's hard for me to eat during the day. I usually really eat, once school is over. There are parent meetings sometimes. Meetings with the Social Worker. Getting ready for all of the end of the day procedures. Usually there are a million transportation changes, announcements and such. There are emergency phone calls to process, and sometimes the end of the day tantrums. It almost always is hectic.

4:30pm- Usually I decompress with shared ridiculous stories with the Behavior Specialist. The stuff we deal with each day. It literally boggles the mind, and so we often share and laugh til my stomach hurts. I make sure I answer emails, meet with teachers about a variety of student needs. Why are they sleeping through class? Why are they chronically hungry? Is the outburst of anger developmentally appropriate? I often have post-crisis meetings, to develop new plans to try to establish better days in the future.

*Yeah, so that is kinda how a typical day unfolds. There are days that are far better and days that are far worse. I just take them as they arrive and working with the children makes everything worth it.*


TONI said...

It was great to get a peek at what you do!

Sabrina said...

This is so late, but THANKS Toni!