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Do People Regret Becoming a Teacher/Counselor?

Some do, yes. Why? There is no way to fully prepare a new teacher or counselor for the demands of the job. They will know only after they are in it. It can be highly satisfying and rewarding, but is very giving and often exhausting. Students really need teachers and counselors that “see” them, “notice” them, and care. That is a wonderful thing but, if you have a high student load, whether you are a teacher or a counselor, then the exhausting part is trying your best to connect with and give good teaching or counseling to ALL of your students and keep up with the other demands of the job. Ideally, counselors would just counsel/give guidance and teachers would just teach. Don’t ask them for anything else.

However, teachers are asked to be on committees, meet for IEP (Individual Education Plan) meetings, parent conferences, meet with parents for behavioral issues, stay after school for special events, attend assemblies, etc….

The career of teaching is wonderful, fun and meaningful so to protect a teacher’s time the teacher needs and deserves to spend most of the school day teaching. It is the other tasks that take away from dedicated teaching and planning time that can make a teacher feel overworked and drained. In order to protect their time sometimes they have to say “no” to extra-curricular requests. This is difficult if the teacher is not tenured yet. New teachers often feel like they have to say yes to every request in order to keep their jobs.

Suggestion: If you are a new teacher and know that you are being asked to do too many things outside of your teaching, explain to your principal that you want to be an excellent, effective teacher and in order to do that, you need to protect your time. This does not mean saying no to every request, this means feeling comfortable saying a polite “no” when the demands being asked of you are one too many.

I observed counselors doing many jobs that had nothing to do with counseling. They do traffic duty in the parking lots, yard duty, manage students at assemblies and other events, attend many meetings, etc.. What if counselors had more dedicated time to “counsel” students.” They also often have WAY too many students on their list to handle and to give effective counseling to.

Suggestion: What if schools hired outside help to manage traffic duty in the parking lots, yard duty, and basic management student flow and behavior to assemblies and let counselors focus on giving students effective scheduling guidance?

It was a regular, standard practice for my science teacher colleagues and I to check student schedules at the beginning of every school year. Why? Students were often placed in the wrong science class. Why? The counselors mean well but are too overworked. They need more time for their jobs.

Final Thought: Teaching and counseling are both wonderful, giving, meaningful careers. Students need teachers and counselors that care. If you are a new teacher, hang in there, protect your time, don’t try to be perfect, just try to care AND remember to take care of YOU! You cannot give to others if you don’t give to yourself. You are appreciated. We need you.

Counselors: Teachers and students need you too. Most teachers recognize that you try very hard and have a lot on your plate. Thank you for being there.

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