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5 Reasons School Counseling is a Great Career

5 Reasons School Counseling is a Great Career

Jim Starr

1. Watching Students Grow

Counseling at any level affords a unique opportunity to observe and interact with whatever developmental stage the student is in at the time. It was always fascinating for me to watch high school students come in as barely pubescent 9th-grade teens, and walk out four years later as young adults. Sharing in that growth process was fun and rewarding.

2. Unique School Position

Counseling in a school system is a unique kind of position. We are not classroom teachers, nor are we administrators. We enjoy this interesting position of sometimes being a buffer, e.g. problem solving concerns between teachers and students/ parents so that they never have to be addressed to the principal or assistant principal.

3. Offering Support

Being available to students on so many different planes is gratifying. For many, the unconditional regard we can show them on a consistent basis means school can be the safest, sanest, most supportive part of their lives. I’ve had feedback from students that simply remembering who they are from one time to the next helped them feel better about themselves. Saying “hey” in the hallway, acknowledging an improved grade, or facilitating a productive schedule change, as basic as they may be, can all make a difference.

4. Acting as a Liaison

As a school counselor, one has opportunities to act as a liaison – between parents and teachers, teachers and administrators, students and teachers, community agencies and the school, students and community/ four-year colleges, students and military recruiters, etc. It is challenging and rewarding to be a conduit of communication, mediator of conflict resolution, and source of clarification.

5. School Community

When I taught Health/Human Sexuality for five years, I found my “world” confined to the site in which I taught. I spent my days in one of five buildings on campus, ate lunch there, and hung out there before and after school. This was not atypical. As a school counselor, I was able to interact with every teacher on campus, all the administrators, custodians, kitchen staff, and groundskeepers. This is not to suggest that counseling is a good career for the “social butterfly” opportunities it affords, but rather for the holistic exposure it provides.

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