2.02.2014

Making A Difference Guest Post

Today I'm excited because I'm guest posting as part of Jennifer Fischer's Fourteen Days of Loving Kindness project and I couldn't be more delighted. Go there to learn more about celebrating with your counselor during National School Counseling Week, which officially kicks off tomorrow.

Here's our Monday treat all ready to go; I'll put it in the lounge that teachers can snack on together during their breaks.
I've challenged my intern with coming up with our mid-week surprise.


In the meantime, I've invited Carol Miller, a middle-school counselor up north 
in New York, to share some reflections with us.
Welcome, Carol, and thank you for stopping by the Corner.

What It Means To Make A Difference by Carol Miller 



I was in my early years of my career when I first met Jennifer, a spunky, good spirited, and fun loving middle schooler. Jennifer had moved into the area to live with her Aunt when her mom was no longer able to care for her. Jen was one of those kids that could light up a room when she entered. She was smart, funny, loving, and just a great kid. Jen had a pretty terrible past; one that no little girl should ever have to endure. For what she had been through, Jennifer was well put together and always smiling. She kept her secrets well hidden and locked away in the closet. They were for only those that really knew her well to know.  
Jennifer hung around my office a lot, and to be truthful, I loved the fact that she did. The more time we spent together, the more she shared with me about her background, her family, and the secrets she kept. Jennifer was the kid that I wanted to take home. I know she often felt alone and unloved, but really she was loved more than she could ever know. To this date, I love her as my own. As counselors it is hard not to get attached, get connected, have feelings for others. It is this compassion for others that draws us to counseling in the first place. I always knew I wanted to help others, little did I know, that these students who we want to help so much are the ones that actually help us the most. I learned more from Jen, than she did from me. 
Of this I am sure.
Jennifer truly taught me what it means to make a difference. Unconditional love is not to be taken for granted. It does not mean we can treat others badly and that will mean that they will still love us. It means that we do not put conditions on our love. And love means respect. Making a difference means giving to someone those extra five minutes of your time.  It’s a quick check in of “How’s it going?” It’s “Tell me about your day” and “What homework do you have tonight?” It means giving someone the respect you want others to give to you. It means unconditional.
Jennifer also taught me that through difficult situations, leaders can emerge. We read about this in history books, but Jen was a real life example.  Although she did not feel strong or brave, she was beyond a doubt the bravest person I ever knew.  
I learned through Jennifer that kindness is the most important bond that can bring people together. It is kindness that hides the darkness, tames the fear, and creates greatness. It’s more than 15 years later, and I still keep in contact with Jennifer. She goes by Jenny now, and has grown into a beautiful women, a wonderful mom, and a fantastic teacher. She has told me she appreciated all the time we spent together and how I never gave up on her. I am humbled by her words and grateful for the love she has for me in return.  
I have founded several school counselor groups on Facebook and I asked the questioned, “What do you love most about being a School Counselor?” Most of the responses included helping students and making a difference in the lives of others. I don’t discredit those answers, but for me, what I love the most is when students make a difference in me.
So as you work with students, remember to take away from the experience as much as you put into it. It will be well worth it, I promise.

About Carol, from her blog:  I am a certified school counselor at Lansing Middle School in Lansing, NY. I have worked as a school counselor for the past 20 years.  My first 5 years of counseling were spent as an elementary and middle school counselor. The next 14 years were spent as a high school counselor, and I had a focus on working with students with the college admission and application process, although I saw many kids throughout my years who worked on a variety of personal, academic, and social issues. My own son started 5th grade this year, and we began our newest middle school journey together.  

I have organized School Counseling Conferences for several years in Central New York through TACA and I have presented at these conferences on College Admissions, Best School Counseling Programs, and Sharing Counseling Resources. I am am member and past President of the Tompkins Area Counselor Association, and  I am a member of NYSSCA and NACAC, and NYSACAC. I am the mom to three sons, a crafter at heart, and a soccer and basketball coach in my free time.

Every day as a school counselor is an adventure. Each day I look forward to going to work and seeing the kids. Follow me as I continue my travels and forge new roads ahead.




2 comments:

  1. I was...and still am...only as brave as those around me. I'm sure we could debate the idea of "who taught who." I think the biggest message is that sometimes in life---it takes ONE person to be the soul who reconnects someone else to the universe. That soul was you--and I am reconnected! I hope you continue to inspire others to be "the one who offers to path for reconnection."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by, Jenny. What an honor to get to share your story at the Corner!

      Barbara

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I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!

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