Written By: Hans Appel
17+ years ago, when I began my career,
I was a counselor who worked in education.
But time, experience, and perspective have a funny way of changing your sense of self.
Warning to educators reading this, you might be upset by what I’m about to say. Ok, here goes:
In my experience SOME educators spend too much time focusing on what their title and/or role ‘should be’ and not enough time integrating into the school system.
I know. I told you this would be controversial. But far to often I hear things like “that’s not my job” “they can’t make us do that” and “this is not what we really should be doing.”
Don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE to have a 250 to 1 student/counselor ratio; which the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) recommends. I fully believe in the ASCA national model of Academic, Personal Social, and College/Career focus. Additionally, I think it’s my job to educate students, staff, and parents how I fit into the school system. But, educating others about what I do isn’t enough and certainly doesn’t ensure me to “Be REAL” (Thanks Tara Martin!) within the school system. In her incredible book, Tara argues that educators might strive to being:
-R Be Relatable
-E Expose Vulnerability
-A Always be Approachable
-L Constantly Learn through real-life experiences
If educators were more focused on being REAL, perhaps our profession would be even stronger! In Heidy LaFleur’s book “Hop on the Clue Bus”, LaFleur adroitly invites educators to a common sense approach to leadership. LaFleur inspires through age old futuristic concepts like listening, empathy, and relationships. She reminds us that integrating ourselves into a school system isn’t rocket science but instead: human science. Her style is transparently refreshing as she abandons games and mind tricks and falls back on compassion, accountability, and love. She’s the kind of educator who seems to have worn many hats throughout her experience and understands others’ roles expertly!
Award Winning Culture was created by Hans and Jennifer Appel with the sole purpose of creating an educational mindset of INTENTIONALITY; with a daily mantra to make our circle of influence stronger through Character, Excellence, and Community. Part of AWC's mission is to highlight outstanding educators, companies, and resources that support an Award Winning Culture. Both Jennifer and Hans work at Enterprise Middle School aka Wildcat Nation. Wildcat Nation received the 2018 ASCD Whole Child Award in Washington, for its award winning culture and the 2018 Global "Class Act Award" for Kindness.