Greetings!It's National School Counseling Week, time to celebrate your profession. Once again, this is an exciting time to be a school counselor. The profession is growing and changing. Increasingly, teachers, administrators, parents and the general public are taking notice of the importance of school counseling in overcoming barriers to academic achievement and overall student success.
Last week, Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) introduced a bipartisan resolution in Congress officially designating this week as National School Counseling Week. The resolution was passed by the U.S. Senate on Feb. 1, 2007. I invite you to share the resolution and Murray's floor statement with the stakeholders in your educational community.
Please take a moment to thank Murray and Smith for introducing this bill. Murray in particular has been very supportive of ASCA and school counseling through the years. Murray can be reached by fax at (202) 224-0238 or from her Web site. Sen. Smith can be reached by fax at 202-228-3997 or from his Web site.
As an association, ASCA is growing and changing as well. This month, ASCA's membership surpassed 20,000 for the first time in the association's history. ASCA continues to introduce more programs and service to help you help your students. The profession still faces many challenges, as well. Many students, parents and educational professionals still do not understand the work of school counseling. Consequently school counselors are still assigned tasks that take them away from their students or they are seeing their positions eliminated. Although the average school counselor to student ratio is declining, some school counselors are still assigned to as many as 1,000 students. School counseling students are still graduating from counselor education programs unprepared to face the challenges of the profession. ASCA continues to work with other organizations to ensure that school counselors are part of the collaborative efforts of teachers, principals, superintendents, school boards and others to ensure that every student has the opportunity to receive the best education we can provide.
I hope you can use this week to draw attention to your school counseling program and to all of the benefits you can bring to your students. Let yourself enjoy some of the attention and credit you so richly deserve as a school counselor. And take a moment to reflect on what you do and why you do it. Why are you a school counselor? What is your purpose in being an educator? What do you want to accomplish in your school and for your students? And are you accomplishing what you need to accomplish? Let these reflections guide you through the rest of the week and throughout the year.
Carolyn Stone, Ed.D., President