Design a site like this with WordPress.com
Get started

Happy ‘work-versary’!

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.

School Counselor Quote Posters by Counselor Designs | TpT

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.

Advertisement

This & That (July 2020)

The past few days are crazily exhausting.

As we prepare for the opening of the school year, the pressure to deliver quality distance learning education tripled up for me. There were a lot of tears shed, but the good news here is that I’m still kickin’ alive and fighting.

My mantra: MAHIRAP, PERO KAYA MO. (It would be difficult, but you can do it)

The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t gotten any better for the PH 🇵🇭 and by this rate, we’ll surely reach the projected 85k cases by the end of the month (UPDATE: YES! We’ve reached that already). That SONA btw was predictably useless and irrelevant. And the series of rants and unnecessary stress about our country’s politics, incompetence, and indifference to the poor citizens, are totally adding to the emotional burden I’m feeling.

At work, I’m so preoccupied with this Students’ Orientation. I needed to prepare presentations, write scripts, and do voice overs, and then edit the videos so it will be ready for our live-streamed orientation for our school community. All the while, I’m starting to lose precious time in transitioning to provide my Guidance & Counseling services to a digital platform; and establishing a systematic and sustainable procedure in doing my work in a virtual Guidance Office. I needed to prepare a boatload of paper works (i.e. guidelines, guidelines, and more guidelines) that will make my work adhere to what’s best, effective, and ethical. I have been a school counselor for a couple of years now so this shouldn’t surprise me anymore, but this year is a WHOLE LOT different. (Back story: I’m a newcomer to the school I’m employed now, so I’m still adjusting.. and then, BOOM! This pandemic happened and the admin decided to lay off school personnel, including ALL my team mates. I KNOW I should be deeply grateful to still have a job, and I greatly, greatly, greatly, greatly feel thankful.. But working the job that is supposed to be handled by 4 people is no easy feat.. and it hurts to admit that it really is stressing me out.)

But then… my other mantra: You gotta do what you gotta do.

My workload now may be too much and I really, really hate the government, but still, life goes on- I have a daughter to raise and a family to provide for.

And in that note, let’s now talk about some more personal stuff:

To balance the work stress, I’m exercising now more regularly, and this app really helps me. I also stopped playing this game for the mean time, but I’m back to watching tv series in Netflix, and that show is really an oldie but goldie (yeah, I think I can now admit I’m a sucker for old American tv series about crimes and cops stories- whether drama or comedy). I’m also getting more artsy with my planner, and 2 days ago, I had checked out P400-worth of journal stickers and washi tapes from this store in Shopee. Fortunately, I had clicked on ‘Back’ next, rather than ‘Confirm’, so major marital issues averted just like that. You’re welcome, Daddy.

With all the busyness, I had also managed to squeeze in a speaking opportunity, as I gave this parenting webinar about developing literacy at home and managing the New Normal. I’m trying to think it’s not really a big deal, but I’m proud because that’s the first webinar I gave, and our neighborhood’s chickens, birds, and dogs were all energetically cheering for me while recording, so yeah, it should really be a big one. The hubby and I are also attending that online training for Couple Coordinators of Kids for Christ. Plus we are our chapter’s designated “technicals and media team”, so we are really onto computers, zoom meetings, and live-streaming during the weekends.

Being a Mom is still one of the best parts of my life (self: why still?!) and Ella is this constant ‘sunshine on a cloudy day’. We are entering that chatterbox phase, and I’m ALWAYS amused with her stories, dreams, and observations. Btw, she calls herself now “Appleberry Cat”. There were also some meltdowns, and I’m still thankful because these are opportunities to teach and impose discipline on our little lady.

July is really a crazily tiring month, but still a blessing in itself, nonetheless. I think we are all still grieving for our past lifestyles and detoured dreams, but are also starting to cope well with the new ‘normal’. Hey, this album even somehow redeemed 2020 and put smiles on our faces even just for a little while. There is hope, people. There is hope.