Counselor Emily Hanus and her intern Bailey Lauritzen have developed a strong mutual support system despite a challenging and “colorful” school year.
This Week's Storytellers: Emily Hanus & Bailey Lauritzen
Emily Hanus is School Counselor at Eisenhower Elementary School in Crown Point, Indiana. This is her 8th year as a professional counselor and her 3rd year at Eisenhower. Emily is a wife and mother of two young boys and loves to hike in her spare time. She has two rescue dogs named Henry and June.
Bailey Lauritzen is a counselor intern at Eisenhower Elementary School while finishing her last semester of graduate school at Purdue University Northwest in Hammond, Indiana. Bailey hopes to work in an elementary school once she graduates this spring. In her spare time she loves to hike with her dog, visit the beach, and practice yoga.
Encouraging Words for School Counselors is also available on these podcast apps and others. If you can’t find the podcast on your favorite app, let us know and we’ll make sure we get there. If you prefer to listen in your browser, visit https://inspiresuccess.org/podcast every week for a new episode. For new episode notifications and more, follow Inspire Success on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Hello, everyone! Welcome back to Encouraging Words for School Counselors, your portable, audio pick-me-up, podcast to help you get through the week. I’m Matt Fleck with Inspire Success.
Like many of you, I have been a counselor intern and have also been a supervisor to counselor interns. And some are even still counselors today.
When Emily Hanus – the counselor at Eisenhower Elementary School – found out she was pregnant last year, she thought it would be a good idea and good timing to have a counselor intern come in during the fall while she was still on maternity leave.
When we originally met, it was probably right around this time last year before we knew COVID was a thing.
Because of COVID Emily and her intern Bailey’s plans to prepare for the transition during the spring of the last school year, of course, went out the window. Instead, they talked by Zoom over the spring and summer, and eventually came up with a strategy where Bailey, the intern, would start the school year while Emily stayed home during maternity leave. Of course, it turned out the start of the school year was more colorful than either of them expected.
We have had, like, a color system where red is like full distance, yellows hybrid, and green is like totally in person. So, you know, we started off the year in what yellow? Yellow. Wow. It seems like so long ago we started the year in yellow and actually the first day that students came, I ended up having to be quarantined for two weeks because I was exposed to COVID. So, I was here for about an hour and got a text that my boyfriend, who I live with, had COVID. So I had to go home. So that, that was a, definitely a bump in the road working from home for the first two weeks meeting kids online. Plus like Emily said, having a new principal, and came back, and you know, everything was good. We were green for a little bit — fully in person, then we went total distance. Now we’re doing like an asynchronous thing where the kids are here, except for on Wednesdays.
I know this not unique – many of you have experienced this too – but isn’t it odd how it begins to sound as if schools are Rube Goldberg machines – if it’s yellow today you go here until it’s green when XYZ happens in which case you stay home and hop on one leg in front of your Zoom camera. It’s a bit bizarre. And kind of funny if it wasn’t so awful. Suffice it to say, Bailey’s experience as an intern was not typical. Filling in for her supervisor who was having a baby at the start of a new school year – in the middle of Covid – with a brand new principal, got even more complicated when, right before her supervisor Emily was to return, Bailey became infected with the virus herself.
I think Bailey and I have really leaned on each other a lot. I just think that theme, the recurring theme in our conversations with each other and with our new principal has been grace and understanding. And, um, you know, just really just like feeling this immense empathy for one another and compassion for one another, because we all are experiencing our own hurdles and our own roadblocks in this process. And so, you know, even just like venting to one, another. Bailey and I usually kick off the day by checking in, how are you doing? We were just talking this morning, how we’re both sleep deprived for different reasons and just kind of going over the plan for the day and coming up with our, uh, you know, like our game plan. And then at the end of the day, we decompress and talk about the day we just had, things that went well or things that didn’t go so well. And just coming up with a plan for the future, too. And again, just showing each other grace throughout this whole process, I’ve learned so much from her and I, you know, I really, really appreciate that. It’s been, it’s been great Bailey.
That was so nice, I don’t even know how to follow that!
Emily and Bailey are continuing to work together every day through this “colorful” school year and say that their tag-teaming efforts have resulted in some meaningful advances with many of their elementary students.
Thanks to all of you who are carrying extra burdens this year and still caring for others. I guess that’s what we do.
Before we leave, remember to tell your friends to subscribe to the Encouraging Words for School Counselors podcast – found on ALL of your favorite podcast apps. And, make a mental note to go to our online Sound Booth and record your own cool story about being a school counselor – or ask another counselor to join you and ask each other the questions – it will be fun! You can find the online Sound Booth at inspiresuccess.org/podcast.
We truly DO need YOUR stories to make this podcast work. So thanks. And until next time, have a great week.