Sometimes I have quick, fleeting moments, or whole days, or worse yet, entire weeks where I ask myself this question: “Why the *bleep* am I doing this job?”
And I know I can’t be the only one. Come on, you do it too!
When I first started as a School Counselor, I was very unsteady on my feet and unsure of what I was doing. The first year in a new school, especially when you’re brand new to the job, is freakin’ hard! So it goes without saying that I questioned why I decided to enter a profession that is so challenging every single day.
As the years passed, I gained confidence and perspective, and I felt like I not only knew what I was doing, but that I was good at it.
However, there are still those moments, days, and weeks…
And really, it shouldn’t be surprising, should it? Working in a public school as a School Counselor specifically is not easy these days. Let’s a take a quick look at the reasons why:
- Germs are everywhere and so you get sick, a lot.
- The School Counseling profession is still relatively new, so many people, including some you may work with, haven’t a clue what you do all day.
- As a result of the point stated above, many of us may spend a significant amount of time explaining aspects of our job, repeatedly.
- The job can look different in each school, so we may have to politely decline certain tasks/duties that interfere with our main purposes, which puts us at risk for not looking like a team player.
- Every year, there are more rules and laws and policies to learn and follow that often restrict what we’re able to do with students.
- Many kids do not come to school ready to learn or to interact in prosocial ways.
- Many administrators and policy makers think that the solution to the problem stated above is to shove more instructional time down their throats, as if that will make them learn better, and then test them to death to make sure they learned it.
- Advocating for anything is hard work. Advocating for systemic change can take everything you have and then some.
- Too little time in the day to get everything done.
- Scheduling. Enough said.
- The income we receive is, well, puny at best. (Yes, I just used the word puny.)
Okay, rant list over.
On really hard days, I sometimes think I should just find an office job inputing data or filing paperwork. A job where I can hide in a cubicle all day. A job where people won’t bring really hard problems to my office for me to solve. But I know I wouldn’t be happy with that kind of work. And to be fair, ALL jobs come with pros and cons.
So why the *bleep* am I doing this job? Here’s why:
- Because I need to feel like I’m making a difference.
- Because I love school. Always have.
- Because I get to play with kids. A lot.
- Because I get to watch my students grow and change.
- Because I am challenged every single day.
- Because I learn something new every single day.
- Because being a School Counselor helps me grow as a person.
- Because there are so many people who appreciate you when you listen to them. Just listen.
- Because I get to know ALL the students and ALL the staff in my building.
- Because I know I am teaching students important life skills that will extend past the three R’s: Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic.
- Because I have the privelege of helping people solve their little, medium, and big problems.
- Because I experience so much satisfaction when I see positive systemic changes taking effect, knowing I played a part in it.
- Because I think I’m pretty good at it.
Why are you doing this job? I’d love to hear your list of reasons!