Celebrating School Counselors

Happy National School Counseling Week!

It’s National School Counseling Week, a time to celebrate school counselors around the country. The American School Counselor Association offers resources and downloads to help your school celebrate the week and honor your counselors.

In The Art of Teaching Project, we’ve been able to connect with a few school counselors to understand their work, the strategies they use to empower students, and the crucial role they play in supporting student’s social and emotional development.

We connected with them recently, in honor of National School Counseling Week, to ask the question:

As a school counselor, what differences do you make in the lives of the students you serve?

Here’s what Lisa Baylis, school counselor and mindfulness expert, had to say in response:

“As as school counsellor I see so many kids throughout their time in high school. These kids also come with varied degrees of needs but all with past trauma. They all present with some sort of mental health challenge from anxiety, depression, PTSD, suicidal thoughts, moving into having psychotic breaks. My job is triage — see as many kids as I can and meet as many needs as I can in very little time. It’s high stress and emotional fatiguing work. My practice is from a strengths-based and solution focused approach to try and get them back into their classes learning as soon as possible. But sometime, most times… I just need to be with these kids: let them cry, hear their worries, let them feel their feelings and understand that what they feel is normal. I provide a safe place so all kids can know they are seen, valued and heard. As a school counsellor, I bring a trauma-informed lens with every student I feel so they can feel safe and connected… I want them to feel a sense of self-compassion, mindful awareness, and peace within themselves. That’s how I do my small piece as a high school counsellor.”

To meet the rest of the school counselors in The Art of Teaching Project, check out their blog posts: