I was thinking this morning about how I sounded too whiny about work in my last post, when I realized today is also my ‘work anniversary’.
You see, I have this mindset that at work, instead of treating my office mates with a blowout (why do we have to do that? Because we’re Filipinos) during my birthday, I would do so during my work anniversary. It makes me remember the whys and the hows of being in that office, of being a School Counselor, and to celebrate it joyfully with the whos that make my profession more bearable and enjoyable. I may have vented out too many complaints in my last blog post, but I also take this job seriously, and I’m really proud and grateful for choosing this line of work as my profession.
Because I really can’t celebrate today my traditional way of having a good cup of
expensive coffee, allow me to re-blog this post I wrote last May when we just celebrated “Counseling Awareness Month”. Hope you enjoy reading!
I have always prided myself of becoming a School Guidance Counselor, for despite the bulky work load (I am handling almost 1, 000 students), going on a harder route in possessing a license, having lower salary range, and experiencing less appreciation from the school community, I think of this job as more of a vocation than just an office work. Initially, I took up BS Psychology in college believing that I can work in a clinical setup. But being trained as a Peer Facilitator for four years, I grew in love with the life surrounded by students and helping them be the best they could be. I have long dreamed of being a Guidance Counselor, and at age 23, I finally became one. I think that who I am now is greatly defined by the training I got from talking to so many students, listening to their rants about the world, and looking for the good rather than the bad side of it all. I learned about genuine care, self-actualization, motivation and learning styles, individual differences, and self-care by living and loving the young people and all their idiosyncrasies. On the other hand, I have also seen- and more importantly, learned to embrace- the self-harming and self-destructive tendencies as well as the cynical and anti-social capabilities we all have in our nature in a varying degree.
As a Counselor, I am exposed to both the good and the bad of a person. And what I have always observed in this line of work for six years now, I think that what sets us apart from others is our belief that good will always outweighs anything bad. We believe in our students, that no matter how tragic his past or his present has been, his future will become better, if he chooses to. We trust everyone’s capacity to make wise decisions for their lives, and that we pray for them to have courage and resilience if ever they face difficulties and setbacks on the way to that brighter future. Most importantly, we hold on to hope that any little help we can extend, we hope that we’re making this world a better place than before.
Years in service: 2014- 2019 as Grade School & Junior High School Counselor for a Catholic School in Novaliches; 2019- present as Grade School & Junior High School Counselor for a University with basic education in Diliman, QC.
The Best part of the Job: Being with the young, helping them, talking and getting to know them. This is actually what I believe as a key in keeping youthfulness. Hahah. Another useful advantage is that working in a school is very beneficial for the future education of my own child.
The Hardest part of the Job (and How I deal with it): Making the stubborn parents listen and understand! Hahahahaha. :p I have always been a Counselor for grade school and junior high school departments, and this population is roughly always almost 1000. This is very tedious, considering that I would be the only one preparing, managing, and implementing my programs and services. Also, counseling really has an emotional burden to me (or to any Counselor, per se). I deal with all these struggles with proper time management, effective prioritizing, and getting friendly with the Class Advisers and our school administration. I am only one person, but with the help from the right people, everything can be bearable.
Favorite Productivity Tips: Always work with a happy tummy. Do the hardest tasks in the morning while motivation and energy are still high. Stop when you are already tired. Breathe.
Best Advice I ever Received: “Keep on pushing and keep on learning. Don’t quit because the children and your school need you. Just keep on learning. (Again) Breathe.” -Ma’am Chatt, my college Guidance Counselor in UST
My Advice to those who are just Getting Started: The same as one above. Heheh. But really, never give up. We are who we are because we know how to listen, empathize, and care. And our children need us now more than ever. Whenever things get difficult, just remember who you are doing this for. And yes, never stop learning.