There is a standing joke in our family about the incompetence of school counselors. Unfortunately with good reason. Yesterday I had to register my soon for 8th grade. He could not come with us, and I was a little worried about choosing his electives for him. I figured that my guess would be almost as good as his. We got there, and the counselor was terrible. It took her over half an hour to figure out a schedule. She had to redo the entire thing several times. First she put him in a class that did not exist. Then she put him in the classes for the wrong grade and the other counselor happened to catch it. Then she put him in two science classes. Then she missed a class. She kept asking what electives he would possibly be able to handle. When we would ask what material was covered she thought that may be something she should probably know, but admitted she had no idea. At least she took the time to look it up. We ended with a “well, you can always have him come in and change things if he doesn’t want this version.”
The good part of the story. The first schedule she did up was terrible. Bad electives, bad arrangement. I worried about taking it home to my son. By the time we left with the final schedule I think it is exactly what he would have wanted. I don’t think it could have been any better. Pure luck because I sure can’t credit the counselor with knowing what he wanted, and it was pretty much all she could do to put anything together.
p.s. My daughter also got her schedule. Without even asking she got a teacher she has been hoping to get for the last four years!
- Using the Right Resources: How High School Guidance Counselors Can Help (homework.answers.com)
- Strengthening College and Career Readiness: New Evidence on the Impact of School Counselors (learningfirst.org)