A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Dear Counselor: Get a grip.

Disclaimer: We actually do have several really wonderful counselors at our school. But there are three that, ohdearlawd, just make me wanna holler.

By the way, how many counselors does it take to change a light bulb?
A: It only takes one, but the light bulb has to really WANT to change.

So here's the lay of the land: Similar situation to the last once I related, in fact same kid. Different counselor, same query (this counselor is a refugee from Godspell-- I swear, I'm waiting for the mime makeup to complement the peasant dresses). Can't I just excuse Kiddo so she can get all her extra-curriculars done? Oh, and "her parents won't accept any grade lower than an A from Kiddo's teachers."

Here's my response in a nutshell: I AM concerned about Kiddo. I am especially concerned that Kiddo absolutely cannot speak for herself to anyone but has asked, at various times: Counselor to intercede with me and with the physics teacher; Physics teacher with intercede with the sponsor of Student Council; the sponsor of Student Council to intercede with the track coach ....ad nauseam.

Today Kiddo came face to face with a conflict between my absolute deadline for make-up work and a chance to be involved in some after-school event (I want to point out that Kiddo could have taken care of this yesterday, but chose to avoid making a choice, which is, of course, actually MAKING a choice). I could not in good conscience budge. Kiddo sulked her way through her make-up test, but got it done and went off to the event late.

Choices, people!

And meanwhile, Counselor Number 2, every time we intercede instead of Kiddo, we shield Kiddo from the fact that Kiddo is hopelessly overloaded. And frankly, I think we make Kiddo's emotional distress worse, since we reinforce Kiddo's obviously perception of herself as powerless and voiceless-- to her parents, to club sponsors, to herself, and to teachers. Especially when it comes to saying "No" to something.

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At 4/1/10, 5:30 AM, Blogger Annikki said...

Wow. I agree with this - none of these people are helping Kiddo learn how to resolve her own problems, make decisions, and prioritize.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to wrap my brain around the idea of having that many counselors in a school. We have one. You must be at a monstrously huge school!!!


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