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GraceKrispy GraceKrispy is offline
Joined: Jul 2007
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GraceKrispy's Avatar
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 41,552
Senior Member

Old 02-27-2017, 05:06 PM
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Welcome! I have worked as a classroom teacher, a counselor, and a school psych. All of the jobs had pros and cons, of course. In my counseling position, I worked at a pretty small k-12 school, so I did elementary class lessons, I was an AVID teacher for middle school (one class period, 4 days a week), and I did college/career prep classes for 9-12 (each grade got one weekly class). I also did some light administrative duties, conducted weekly groups for various issues, taught gifted "class" (really a weekly gifted enrichment time), handled crises, and conducted individual counseling for students with counseling on their IEPs. Oh, and I was the standardized test coordinator/trainer. I was very busy but I loved the variety of what I did. So I'll list my pros/cons compared to teaching based on that job description.

*Lots of variety
*Bathroom breaks are easier to take
*You really get the chance to know a child without needing something from them-- your relationship is less about your demands (as a teacher, we're always demanding something from them) and more about what the child needs
*If you have a really annoying kid, you don't have to spend the entire day with him/her
*No state testing demands

*It's a very different type of satisfaction- I really missed having "my" (classroom) kids to myself.
*You are often low on the totem pole in terms of schedules getting switched up on you or kids missing appointments because of priority classroom issues.
*You get very different type of pressure from parents-- in my case, it was actually parents NOT wanting their kids to see a counselor, or worried about what you're doing
*You get all the CPS cases in the school (at least I did)
*Risk of suicide comes to you as well
*It can get very intense with emotional issues, home situations, sexual abuse/date rape, etc.
*Some teachers can see you as a lower life form (although, oddly enough, when I moved from teaching to counseling in the same school, several teachers thought I had gotten a "promotion")

In general, I would say there really aren't "pros" and "cons," per se. I did put them that way, but really it's just a different way of working with kids. I was happy with the switch, but I did really miss the classroom. With the experience you describe, it seems you will likely be a good fit. I second eeza's suggestion to do some self-care. Be sure to build that in. It can be overwhelming sometimes, so it's important to take care of yourself.

Keep posting about your progress here! We're a slow board, but several of us check in regularly
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