10 Signs You’re A Good Counselor

Tootsie-RollsBy Sabrina Bong — This past weekend, one of my former roommates gave me a giant jar of Tootsie Rolls as my Secret Santa present.

At first, I was really confused, but her note explained it all.

When I was a high school student, my counselor had a big jar of candy in her office. I always thought that she was an awesome counselor because she had candy every time I saw her. So, I’m giving this to you, since I know you’ll be a great counselor to your students!

The timing was impeccable. A few weeks ago, I had gotten into a conversation with a few of my students about what makes a good counselor. They told me that I was great, but that I needed to learn some things before I went off to a different school and got a job. It was interesting to see how they combined their experience in high school with personal thoughts and ideas!

As they mentioned different items, I wrote them down. As the day went on, any student that came in to chat with me had the opportunity to say what they thought made someone a good counselor.  I compiled a list of 10 different suggestions the students had for me. I think anyone interested in counseling would be curious to see what high school students said and their explanations for their points. After all, some of us may find ourselves in high schools!

So, what makes someone a good counselor?

  1. A good counselor always has candy at his/her desk. If you want more students in your office, have a lot of candy. And make sure there’s a lot of variety. (Fun fact: out of the 12 students I talked to, 10 of them mentioned candy. I guess this is an important thing!)
  2. A good counselor is always patient and listens to everything the student has to say. When counselors offer suggestions before hearing the whole story, it’s really frustrating.
  3. A good counselor always smiles! No one wants to talk to a grouchy counselor.
  4.  A good counselor plays awesome music in his/her office. They shouldn’t play “old” music, like classical or stuff from the 50s. Unless they’re old, then it’s okay. (A fun note: when I asked them what they meant by “old,” they commented that anyone who did not know what an iPad was is considered old.)
  5. A good counselor has things to play with at his/her desk, like knick knacks. Having something to play with makes it easier to talk.
  6. A good counselor never judges the student. They shouldn’t believe everything the student says, but they should believe most of it.
  7. A good counselor is ready with relationship advice at all times.
  8. A good counselor never tells someone what to do. Instead, they should suggest what would be a good option.
  9. A good counselor should dress up for Spirit Days during Homecoming week. If they dress really silly, they will inspire others to as well!
  10. A good counselor should only take you from the boring classes (I did tell this student that we would not take them from English, History, Science, or Math.)

Hope you enjoyed what my students came up with and maybe found a little inspiration for your counseling practice!

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