I truly feel this job is my calling. Since I was a junior in high school, I have wanted to be an elementary school counselor. That's a pretty specific career for a teenager to choose, but I had lots of wonderful influences.
In elementary school I was the textbook definition of the gifted underachiever. I was fully capable of doing the classwork, but I had absolutely no desire to do work I didn't feel was fun or interesting. When I was in fifth grade I had a wonderful teacher that saw something in me and gave me some more challenging lessons, and I thrived. I also started working with the school counselor, and I even had a behavior plan! I like to tell my students (and their parents) that I am living proof that this "school counseling" stuff can really help.
In middle and high school I was a good student with a flair for the dramatic. When I realized I was never going to be a famous Broadway star (that light bulb came on when I was cast as a "tree" in a high school production my senior year), I started expanding my interests. I took a class that included mentoring an elementary school student weekly during lunch. The school counselors set up the program and that's when I realized what I wanted to do with my life. My college and teaching experience were all targeted toward the goal of being a counselor.
I taught for three years while I got my counseling degree, and then I went straight into counseling and I've never looked back. I have worked in urban and suburban districts, and schools with 99% free lunch and schools with 1% free lunch. I decided my niche was Title 1 schools, with lots of cultural diversity. I have been at my current school for eight years and I absolutely love my job.
I realize I have no readers yet, as this is only my second post ever, but if you come around later and happen to read this one, what brought you to this blog? What brought you into counseling as a profession?