For those of you in New England, I’m sure you’ve heard all about the snowstorms hitting the Boston area. As a result, we’ve had several snow days. However, all this snow in the beginning of 2011 has reminded me how fun snow days can be! While I may not be saying that in June, getting up and checking the TV for cancellations does have a certain thrill to it. The beginning of 2011 also marks my last semester here in Suffolk’s School Counseling program. My internship at Watertown High School continues this semester and it’s been busy and exciting…when we’ve been there!
As we wrapped up 2010, the guidance office was filled with high school seniors getting college applications submitted, checking that transcripts had been mailed and that teacher recommendations had been completed. As an intern, I had several seniors on my caseload and worked with them starting in September on the college process. Some knew exactly where they wanted to apply and had spent the summer visiting colleges and working on their college essays. Others were less sure about their post-secondary plans, so I was able to work with them on searching for colleges using the school’s Naviance system, brainstorming essay topics and eventually hitting the submit button. I have been able to practice my counselor recommendation writing skills with the students I worked with and now we’re all anxiously awaiting those college letters.
Aside from college counseling, I continue to meet with students about a wide range of issues from transitioning to a new school to family life concerns to academic performance. I also have the opportunity each week to sit in on our department meetings and student support meetings. As the year has gone on, I’ve become less of an observer and more of a part of the conversation – a great feeling.
In conjunction with my Action Research class last semester, I worked with the assistant headmaster to look at attendance trends at the high school. It’s been really interesting, and helpful, to have our coursework overlap with our internship site. It’s nice to think that our internship sites are benefiting from the work that we are required to do for class!
As we begin our second semester, we are all thinking about what sort of helpful tools we can leave with our internship sites. Some of us will leave lesson plans, some will leave new programs and resources, some will leave helpful data analysis. I continue to brainstorm what might be most helpful for the high school – more evaluations of the programs they offer? Updated resource guides for students and parents? Helpful tips on applying for jobs? Resources for counselors on college counseling for students with learning disabilities? A new system for working with new/transfer students?
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be ironing out the details and putting together a final project that will hopefully be beneficial to the school and be something I can add to my portfolio. As a department, we’re also preparing for our sophomore class visits where we begin working with them on career exploration and really introduce them to the Naviance system. Soon after that, we start talking to juniors about the college process and the cycle begins again…until it’s interrupted by another snow day!