Lessons Learned as a School Counselor

 “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

I’m approaching the end of my career as a School Counselor and as I move through the grief of this transition I feel excitement, sadness, and an immense amount of gratitude for all the lessons I have learned.  I’m a firm believer that we can feel some or all of the stages and phases of grief anytime we experience a significant change whether it is chosen or not.  And sometimes we deny ourselves from feeling them in fear that we are making the wrong decision.  We may ask ourselves why do I feel so sad and/or scared if this is the right or best thing to do? Well, because it is a change, it is new, and there are unknowns and you could fail….it is a risk to make a big change!  For me, I loved being a School Counselor.  I began my career at 24 and have grown up so much in the profession.

After moving through the sadness and fear I find myself filled with peace and gratitude.  Much of this is due to reflecting on all I have learned as a School Counselor, and the appreciation that who I am reflects the people and experiences in my life. 

“As we express gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them” – John F. Kennedy.  I will take these lessons with me beyond the school setting and live them in my roles as mom, wife, friend, daughter, sister, neighbor, counselor, and human.  Thank you.

·       Be Present with your Presence.  Your body language, eye contact, and attention communicate more than words.  And, some problems or challenges do not need thoughts, opinions, or reflections, they just need to be heard, valued, and given a space to breathe.

·       Be Curious vs. Critical.  Being curious keeps you open and connected while being overly critical keeps you closed and disconnected.

·       Value and see everyone, we are a community.  A simple way to do this, learn names, use them, and pronounce them correctly.  We are all connected and we all have value and influence.

·       Do the good that is right in front of you. This is especially helpful when feeling swallowed up and overwhelmed by the injustices, tragedies, and stressors of life. 

·       Don’t get trapped in the dilemmas. When you find yourself complaining, cynical, and agitated more than celebrating, believing, and calm you are becoming a part of the problem….self-care, self-care, self-care.

·       See the good…there is so much good…and let that fuel you through the not so good.

·       The highs are high and the lows are low.  Pace yourself.  And you get to choose how you ride those highs and lows.

May we all be open and grateful to the daily experiences and moments that shape our lives.  Namaste.