Every year, students from all grades visit their guidance counselor for scheduling issues. But did you know that they can do so much more for you than just putting you in Algebra? And that they are still available to help you during distance learning?
To begin with, school counselors offer assistance to students with mental health issues. Whether you’re having a bad day or need serious help, they are always there for you. It’s important to recognize that there are limits to how much counselors can do. “School counselors do not serve at the same capacity as a licensed professional counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist, due to being in the school setting,” says FCHS guidance counselor Erika Morris. However, she notes, they are more than willing to get you the right resources if you need them.
One example of an option given to these students is Region 10, which provides a variety of behavioral health and developmental services to residents of Fluvanna County. They offer the aid that the student may need beyond what a counselor can provide.
Students often have trouble opening up about personal topics, so FCHS counselors do their best to make them feel comfortable. For example, some have inviting rooms or decorate the walls with inspirational quotes which students may have noticed in the past during in-school instruction. Counselors also do what they can to make students feel like they have access to a compassionate, listening ear. “I’m a very genuine and warm person. I have an open door policy.” said Morris.
Not only do the counselors aid in scheduling and personal issues, they also help students with academic issues, attendance issues, and career goals. Morris said she always tries to be “an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, a hand to support, and a warm hug.”
As one could imagine, being a school counselor can be a tough and stressful job. The counselors work with a myriad of students, helping to solve personal problems and school conflicts. If there’s something that makes that all worth it, it’s helping students, as Morris explains. “I’m a very social person, so I love having students around and the energy they bring into the school. At the end of the day, I do this job for the students and to help them the best I can.”
So the next time you catch yourself wondering, “What can my school counselor do for me?” take into consideration the amount of work, time, and effort these counselors put into students. “Everyday looks different [as a counselor], whether it’s different meetings on students and collaborating with stakeholders, scheduling concerns, mental health support, academic support, and the list continues,” Morris says.
How can you access your guidance counselor while on distance learning? Easiest way is to call the counseling office coordinator, Lisa Searcy at 434-589-3007 and ask to speak to your counselor. If you don’t know who your counselor is, use this guide:
Stacey Holland (students with last names A-Cra)
Erika Morris (Cre-Hel)
Kelly Hodgkins (Hem-McG)
Chris Roberson (McK-Shep)
Maureen Stonesifer (Sher-Z)