Photo Note: Last week, for the first time in my life, I baked a pie. The hardest part about the process was peeling, coring, and slicing all the apples that had to go in it. Partway through, I took a picture to document the progression.
I’ve been interning in the High School at East for a good two months now, and I can’t believe all that has happened in that time! I figured it was time to give an update on what I’ve been doing. A lot has been going on, and I’m finding the longer I am there, the more I learn. So far, my site supervisor and I have met with students individually, presented information regarding college applications to senior English classes, attended professional development events, presented information at Open House, chaperoned seniors on a field trip to a college and career fair during PSAT day, and attended various school-based meetings. I realize that may sound like a lot, but each experience has influenced my view of what it means to be a school counselor.
As school counselors, our job is to reach as many students as possible. Every day, I have met with students on an individual basis. Right now we are bringing in each of the seniors to discuss their post-graduation plans and help them with searching for and applying to colleges. For me, it is exciting to see how far these students have come and what is in store for their future. Many of them have worked very hard to get to where they are now, so the idea of graduating is thrilling, and I love to help them achieve that goal. Other than schedule change requests, students have also come to us to discuss personal matters. It makes me feel good to know that students feel comfortable and welcome to stop by our office if something is troubling them.
A few days were spent giving informative presentations to senior English classes regarding college and financial aid information. It turns out that some seniors, despite saying they wanted to go to college, had yet to take their SATs and did not have any specific schools in mind. These meetings were a way to make sure the students got all the help they needed. I believe the sooner students are informed about the college application process, the better; I am excited to report that a colleague of mine is even starting a college program for 7th graders!
When not providing direct service to students, my supervisor and I have attended various school-based meetings. I have been able to sit in on SLC (Small Learning Community) meetings, School Based Planning Team meetings, Student Support Center meetings, and a City Wide meeting of all the counselors in the Rochester City School District. As an intern, it is interesting to see how schools function behind-the-scenes. I’ve learned the value of collaboration and that working together is a very effective and efficient way to get things done.
Outside of school, I have been attending a few professional development events. I’ve learned how certain college majors lead to certain career paths, learned about opportunities for diverse populations of students at local colleges, and what top colleges like Harvard, Georgetown, and Penn are looking for in prospective students. Most recently I attended SUNY Operation Inform, in which officials from the SUNY system hosted school counselors from the Rochester area to teach about updates to the application system and opportunities for financial aid.
So far it’s been a busy but productive year. I feel so much more comfortable in my role as an intern working in the school system now than I did when I first started my practicum last January. I realize the internship experience is unique in that I have the rare opportunity to shadow a professional in the field for a long period of time. I am looking forward to learning as much as I can over the next coming months, and I’ll be sure to keep you updated on what is going on.