I Am ASCA
What inspires you about being a school counselor?
Knowing that one person can absolutely make the difference in a student's life is what inspires me to be a school counselor. I want my students to have every opportunity they need to reach their potential.
What makes you unique as a school counselor?
I'm able to put people at ease during stressful or vulnerable times. Through open, nonthreatening, heartfelt communication, I can talk to anyone about anything.
What words do you live by?
Two favorite song lyrics of mine are “Say love” and ”Decide what to be and go be it” by the Avett Brothers. These remind me to always let love be my guide and to passionately go after my dreams.
When and why did you know you wanted to pursue a career in school counseling?
I taught for 10 years before becoming a school counselor. As a teacher, I saw so many students struggling to succeed due to social/emotional issues and lack of opportunities. I knew I had to move to a position where I could help remove these barriers for more students.
What’s your favorite thing about being a school counselor?
I am a celebrity to 600 kids. Hands down, I love the hugs, smiles and high fives I get throughout the day.
Where do you go when you need to solve a problem in your work?
I rely so much on my professional learning community of elementary school counselors. I'm so lucky to have a group of other school counselors in my district to collaborate with; I'm also really lucky to have supportive administrators who help me problem-solve.
Why is it important to you to be part of a community of school counselors working together for the benefit of all students?
When you are the only school counselor in the building, it can be a lonely experience. Being part of ASCA gives me a school counselor community to feel that important connection. ASCA helps me see that I am on the right track with my comprehensive program and provides amazing resources to be better at what I do.
What do you do to decompress/eliminate stress/refuel for the next day?
Sleep – I recharge with an exorbitant amount of sleep, at least 9-10 hours a night. It's the only way I can bring my A game each day.
What is your favorite tool you use in your work as a school counselor?
I have a magnetic board filled with dozens of emoji magnets. At the top it says, “How I Feel.” During individual counseling, I ask students to pick three emojis that describe how they're feeling. This always helps give me and the student a good place to start, especially when they lack the words to say how they feel.