Anything & Everything

January 25, 2014

Not So Much Guidance From The Counselors

Filed under: Writing — Susan Morgan @ 5:43 pm

I’d like to point out that people need to be very careful what advice we give, especially a young person, as these recommendations can make, or break, a life. I’m talking specifically of school guidance counselors, but the idea applies to many things — and is yet another reason to think before you open that trap.

Positive words from a guidance counselor can point out unrecognized abilities and reaffirm an intuition about skills and strengths. The feeling of vindication is incredible, sometimes the first praise ever to really resound. These words are often life changing… remembered for years afterward in good times and bad. They can set young feet on the path to future success and happiness.

Or a guidance counselor‘s recommendation can put those same young feet on a path of danger and self-destruction, marking time while allowing opportunity to work its worst. Every time a guidance counselor suggests a middle schooler go into a low-level, unchallenging high school program they should be ready to justify their recommendation. Let’s see the success stories, and the kids for whom your advice didn’t work out so well.

I wonder if these counselors realize the power they have. Does their work keep them up at night, or do they sleep sound?

Counselors in the late middle school and high school years are working with a tough population it’s true, but do they have any idea of what a turning point this age can be? Do they think expecting less than a child can give is a good thing? I thought modern education was long past the idea of pushing kids along… but that’s just how you feel when you get this type of recommendation… pushed. Like your circumstances and future don’t matter one bit.

Get back in line. Do as you’re told. Don’t make waves.

Turns out that many college students feel that their high school guidance counselor was pretty terrible when it came to college advice Inadequate. Short. Impersonal. God help the kids who have just this to rely on because it’s amazing how bad they are at helping choose the right college or find good financial aid.


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