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cardnialteach 12-06-2015 04:57 AM

Feeling some burnout.
After reading Gracekrispy's post, the situation at my school this year, and getting renewed with a vision from a training last week I have to say I am feeling I am not in the right place right now in education and I don't like this feeling. Since leaving my training on Friday I have been going over a mental conversation I am planning on having Monday with my principals and superintendent. When they asked me 7 years ago to transfer from my classroom to the school counseling position I was excited for the change and challenge that it would incur. I told them I would only make the switch if I could do what was necessary to feel "I am making a difference." The story of the starfish and the little boy has always been my motto. If I can make a difference for even one it is worth it. Right now I am not seeing anything positive because I am not able to counsel like I feel I should. I am met with resistance from teachers who don't want to give up their time, part of my responsibilities are tied to testing coordinator which eats up my whole second semester. Teachers want to blame me for one more test and I just want to free up my time from these too. I am feeling pretty lost and alone right now. If I was in the classroom I could at least use my training to make sure my students were okay, I feel I am letting my students down but I can't see how I can help. I get to go into rooms once a week at the elementary, but hardly ever get my full time because I am sandwiched next to a special or at the end or beginning of a day so my time is really cut short. I am hoping after Monday I can see hope again, because without that I question why I am doing this.

GraceKrispy 12-06-2015 12:00 PM

Ugh. I definitely know how you're feeling. Between the administrative aspects of the counseling job and the difficulty in finding time to reach kids and all the other job duties stacked up, it's easy to become more of an administrator and less of a service provider :(

Do you have any other school counselors in your district to whom you can reach out? I remember feeling pretty isolated as a counselor. At least as a school psych, we meet every few weeks and monthly with everyone from the area. And the behavioral health specialists in the schools (a step above counselor in terms of services provided- and no administrative duties) also had monthly meetings with everyone. As a counselor, I met with no one. I didn't even really know the other counselors. And my boss was the principal, whereas there were district-level bosses for the behavioral specialists and the school psychs, so that was also very different.

I wonder if you can talk to your administration about your desire to get more service time. I'm not sure what could come of it, it sounds like a lot of it is really the communication with teachers. And we know that the teachers feel a lot of pressure to have as much instructional time as possible to prepare for testing, and there are a lot of demands on their time already. But we also know how important it is to reach those kids who need our help.

I have no answers, just musing "aloud" about it. I remember working as a counselor how much of my time was spend administratively (esp with testing), and how difficult it was to arrange for times to work with kids (hence all the "lunch bunch" types of groups I arranged).

(I'm so sorry if my other post made you feel worse!!)

eeza 12-06-2015 04:24 PM

I'm so sorry you are feeling this way, cardinalteach! Burnout can happen in any job and it sure sounds like your current duties don't match up to what you envisioned for this job.

Can you speak to your administrator about the types of duties that you currently do and that your counseling skills are being underutilized? Maybe he/she can speak to the teachers about the importance of social-emotional health. I'm sure they're aware of it, but the reminder might be good considering they're probably just trying to cram academics into every possible minute of the school day.

I hope Monday is better. Let us know how you are doing!

cardnialteach 12-06-2015 06:31 PM

Social emotional standards
our state, Jansas, has adopted Social emotional standards and our new commissioner is pushing for counselor roles to change. I am hoping after talking to my administration something will change. I can do my lessons, but there is no follow through or support beyond that. Students can't hear it once a week and be expected to have it stick with them.

eeza 12-06-2015 08:10 PM


Students can't hear it once a week and be expected to have it stick with them.
Yes, I notice that teachers are aware that that their students are in counseling, but will say that it's not working. It takes time to work! I think they miss that part and expect counseling to work immediately.

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