Post # 1
Hi all. I recently posted for job suggestions and a few people suggested becoming a school counselor. I always considered this an option for me, but having such a terrible first year as a teacher sort of scared me away from secondary schools. However, I’m reconsidering as it does seem to be a job that I would want to pursue.
Anyway, are there any school counselors that can tell me what a typical day is like? What are the pros and cons of the job?
I’d also love to hear from librarians as well, as I’m considering looking into that.
Post # 2
Commenting to follow because that’s what I plan on going back to school for next summer!
Post # 3
- Wedding: February 2017 - historical mansion
Before going back to school as a counselor, it’s important to look into the job outlook in your area. I got a degree as a school counselor in 2013 and have not been able to find a job as a school counselor. I work in a similar field, but it’s not exactly my ideal job. I know several other people who have had a lot of trouble finding counseling jobs. It’s often one of the first areas to get cut. I think the same goes for librarians, unfortunately. 🙁
Post # 4
Every school is different, and this is specific to elementary, but our counselor spends the majority of her time either working with our PBIS team and individual teachers to improve behavior issues, and meeting with individual or groups of students to work on social skills and other social emotional issues. She is always on call!
I’d also echo apostrophecatastrophe
about making sure you know how likely it will be to get a job–at least in an elementary building there is usually only one counselor, and they tend to stick around. Not sure what it’s like at the upper levels.
Post # 5
I originally became a teacher in order pursue counseling. Unfortunately I just could not handle teaching for all the years required, and because so much of counseling focuses on testing (at least here, they are the main person in charge of state testing), I decided not to do it. When looking for alternatives, I found out about Child Life Specialists and I’m in school for it now. It’s something you may want to look into. 🙂
Post # 6
Are you looking for the perspective of a school librarian or a children’s librarian? I am a children’s librarian in a public library.
Post # 7
+1, its really hard to get hired in that position, and unfortunately with budget cuts there are fewer and fewer jobs like that…
Post # 8
I’m not a school counselor but I thought I could chime in with my thoughts as a teacher. Like the PP suggested, make sure to research the job outlook for school counselors for your town. Also, know that you have to teach for a certain amount of time before you can apply to be a school counselor. I don’t know how it is in most states, but where I live school counselors spend 75% of their time on state testing and only 25% on working with kids. At my campus, they spend most of their time coordinating and attending meeting regarding testing materials and administration.
Post # 9
Do you mean like a guidance counselor or more like a social worker kind of position? Like PPs have said, these jobs are both hard to come by in a lot of areas, especially with continual budget cuts. In my school (I teach at the high school level), we have 3 (!!!!) social workers for an entire school of about 1,800 students (and I work in a high need, high poverty school district). We only have 5 or 6 guidance counselors for the same number of students, and they’re cutting one of those positions this year. I’ve heard school librarian positions are even harder to find.
Have you thought about school psychology? I think it’s a more lucrative degree, though it does take longer. While there aren’t tons of jobs, there are far fewer qualified candidates.
Post # 10
I’m the Director of a small public library. I don’t have a typical day, so much, but this is a rundown of my tasks:
– All of the bookkeeping
– Ordering new books, A/V materials, etc.
– Choosing materials to remove from the collection and sell or discard
– Have meetings with Board members, Friends of the Library members, local politicians, stakeholders/members of the public, staff members, other librarians, etc etc. (I would say I spend about two to four hours a week in meetings)
– Public relations for the library
– Attend events and meetings of other organisations as a library representative
– Attend conferences and workshops, or take online courses or webinars
– Manage the staff
– Deal with technology issues and updates
– Ensure that library policy is followed and make policy change suggestions to the Board
– Write a bi-weekly newspaper column
And deal with whatever else comes up! It’s a really varied job. However, my previous librarian job (where I was not in a management position) was much more focussed, with basically ordering books, sitting on reference desk shifts, and doing adult programming as my entire job.
Post # 11
Thanks for all of the opinions! My plan was to go back to school and get my masters for school counseling with a certification in career advising, so I could also work at colleges. I will most definitely look into Child Life Specialists and school psychology.
I plan on attending next winter, so I still have some time to feel things out. I’m sure the job outlook is about the same where I am, but I will look into it.
Post # 12
I’m a school psychologist 🙂
There is also a national shortage currently so you should have no trouble finding a job once you graduate, if you choose to pursue school psychology. I live in WA state and my district hasn’t started the year fully staffed for the past 4 years simply because there aren’t enough applicants. If you would like more info about my personal experience, pls just PM me. I don’t mind. 🙂
Another area you might find interesting if you are interested in career advising/counseling would be pursuing a degree in vocational counseling (aka Rehabilitation Counseling). State departments of rehabilitation hire masters level rehab counselors to work with individuals with a disability in order to assist these individuals in finding employment. People with this degree are also hired in the disabled student services offices on college campuses (well, in CA anyway) in assisting students with disabilties. I did this job, too. 🙂
Also,in my experience where I live, the school counselors (full time people) tend to cover 2 schools at the elementary level. there is not a ton of involvement in state testing, but there is alot of running groups in the classroom, dealing with behavior concerns, writing section 504 plans….I don’t think you are required to be a teacher first in my state, but I’m not sure about that, and it may vary from state to state. You may want to check that out. 🙂
Good luck, bee!
Post # 13
School Counselor here! I would highly suggest the job outlook in your area. Luckily in my area there are more positions than counselors to fill them! However, I know in many parts of my state (CA) schools don’t even have counselors.
I love my job but it can be extremely stressful, and you have to learn to not take work home with you. I am new to the profession (I internd all last year, and offically will be paid starting this year). The salary is good. I always wanted to be a therapist or a teacher and this is the inbetween. After doing some classroom presentations, I am glad I didnt go the teaching route.
There are no “typical” days in my opinion, but the things you can see regularly would be:
Meeting 1:1 with students for a number of reasons. If you work in an elementary school it will be mainly behavior stuff. High school- grades, graduation, college, anxiety, depression, etc. Middle school- social skills, grades, etc.
Then you have IEPs, 504s, student success team meetings, teacher or parents conferences, etc.
Then classroom guidance, which could be about college, careers, bullying, etc.
I was hired on this year as a social emotional and behavioral counselor, so I wont be doing much of the college/career/academics. But I have a friend who is only doing college/career/academics and she loves it.
Do you have any specific questions? I would be happy to answer!
Post # 14
Ooops forgot to add! In my areas, the School Psycholgists do special education testing only. That is something to look at in your area also. I know a few people went into the position thinking they would do more counseling etc. and aren’t happy with their positions!
However you get paid much more, tons of job openings, and the same amount of schooling as the masters in counseling (school counseling).