More listeners share their end-of-the-school-year stories, both humorous and touching, that highlight current and future school counselors’ super powers.
This Week's Storyteller
Carroll Easterday is the Director of College Counseling at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis. She and her husband Chris and daughter Cadel are ready for a little time off this summer.
Photo: Carroll Easterday with her mom.
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Hi everyone, and welcome to this week’s Encouraging Words for School Counselors podcast. I’m Matt Fleck, former high school counselor, now with Inspire Success. Glad you’re with us.
We’re nearing the end of the traditional school year and I’m so grateful for the year-end stories our listeners have sent to us. Natalie Rieke of Zionsville Community Schools shared that one of her kindergarten girls told the Art Teacher – who has been monitoring their lunch room every day for the entire year – that they wanted to see his face. The little girl said it wasn’t fair that he got to see THEIR whole face every day because they had to remove their masks to eat…but they NEVER got to see his whole face. So, the teacher said, “OK,” and pulled his mask down so the girl could see his face….to which said, “Oh, disappointing.” You gotta have a thick skin in this education business!
One of our listeners had to laugh when she found an error while scanning the state’s list of non-public schools. Where it was supposed to say, “Our Lady of Perpetual Hope School” – the listing instead called it, “Our Lady of Perpetual School.” Which is the feeling many of us have at this time of year.
Audria DeLucenay with Lincoln Junior High School had a more touching story. She received this note recently from one of the students with whom she does a weekly check-in. The note said, “I would like to say a few things. I am really good. I have a really good time at school. I am really glad to have you as our counselor if anybody needed anything for depression wise or things they have problems with, you would always be there. You are the best counselor I have ever had. Thank you for helping me with everything….” Audria said the note was a wonderful thank you after a rough year.
This is also the end of the school year for students who are BECOMING school counselors. Carroll Easterday is the Director of College Counseling at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School but also teaches a class at Butler University’s counselor education master’s degree program. She and co-instructor Amy Marsh have been very impressed with those who are preparing to become school counselors.
I have witnessed every kind of virtual learning, great scenario and really poor scenario from students. But I am just blown away because when they would show up, they were on, they were absorbing, and you could tell the momentum of wanting to serve students and put students first was what kept them [going]. They have had babies. They have had breakups. They have had tough economic situations. They are paying lots of money for a master’s degree in school counseling and needing to try to make financial ends meet and trying to keep it all together. And the thing that is just so astounding to me is it’s hard to do that in the best of times, but it’s even harder when these students are doing this virtually not for just my course, but for all of their courses.
Carroll says the conscientiousness and quality of the work from her students who are preparing to be school counselors is deeper and more engaging than she’s ever seen, and their skills at using technology and resources to target support for all students is inspirational.
I would just say that underneath it all though, is just this drive to serve students and to do it well, no matter whether they’re in a rural environment or in an urban environment or in-state or out-of-state. I mean, they’re showing up and they’re doing it. I think they’re also active in their state organizations. And they’re also active in terms of helping legislatures better understand really what it means to be an effective school counselor, not waiting for people to come ask them for help, but they’re basically putting the agenda in front of legislatures and saying, this is what we can do. And this is how we can bridge the gaps. And some of the concerns that some of you outside of education have, and I think this generation of school counselors that’s coming up through the ranks is best positioned to really show the superpowers that school counselors have always had. But I see them as better able to communicate that to folks who hold the power and the money.
Fortunately, this is not a phenomenon that Carroll believes is only happening in her classroom. She’s optimistic about the future of school counseling because she believes this spirit and attitude and drive of rising school counselors, is a national trend.
People worry about, you know, well, what’s going to happen to school counseling, you know, but I am here to tell you that I think it’s going to be the best ever because these students were so absolutely engaged the entire time. And I’m going to tell you this: I don’t think I’m that interesting. I can assure you. I am not that interesting, but even with that said, I just think these Butler students, and I think this is true for all graduate students in school counseling programs, they are showing up, they are pouring their hearts and souls into it, and they’re making it work. And I think that that is an indication that we’re going to be okay and we’re going to stay above the pendulum. And what I mean by that is whether states go this way or states go that way, and where funding goes, I believe these school counselors that are getting ready to come out and are going to take on these great leadership roles that they are above the pendulum. They are going to be able to think broadly and help students in profound ways because they are nimble, they are smart, they’re resourceful. They network, they know how to use technology like there’s no tomorrow and it’s not poser. It’s totally genuine.
It is an inspiring and hopeful message. Thanks Carroll, and Natalie, and Audria for your end-of-the-school-year stories.
As we look ahead to summer break and the next school year…Iet me share with you one of OUR needs, and that is: podcast sponsors; sponsors who can help cover the costs of keeping the Encouraging Words for School Counselors podcast alive and operating next year. If you have ideas for sponsors, just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll reach out to them AND, if you enjoy the podcast, we’d love if you would take a moment to share with us a comment or two so we can convince potential sponsors that it’s a meaningful, worthwhile, and something that you want. We’ve put up a simple form for your feedback on our website – you can find it at inspiresuccess.org/podcast.
Thank you for doing that. And thanks again for listening…. have an inspiring, phenomenal week.