It’s hard for me to think of a more consistently vocal champion for high school counselors than Patrick O’Connor. That’s why I always enjoy when he pens a post advising his fellow professionals in the field. Patrick treats counseling like an art and counselors as the artists deserving of respect, attention, and support. Every counselor faces challenges unique to their school, constituency, and caseload. But Patrick has seen and experienced enough in his storied career to somehow make his advice applicable in some way to just about anyone generous enough to do this important work in the high schools.
His most recent piece, “How are your Seniors doing?” advises that counselors schedule some lunches with groups of seniors, maybe with the sponsorship of a local pizza joint. Now, it would be easy to dismiss his advice with totally legitimate counters:
Lunch is my time, the only time I get to myself during the day.
Who has space to eat lunch with seniors? Every lunch is a working lunch for me.
I have too many kids to serve, and not enough funding to serve them, to set up pizza parties during the school day.
But you don’t need sponsorship, pizza, or even long lunches to embrace the overarching message. As Patrick puts it:
“Right now, seniors and counselors are stuck in a rut of the mundane. As usual, the answer to getting back in high gear lies in supporting one another. You can find a way.”