by Elizabeth Casolo
Being a Greenwich High School guidance counselor is no easy feat, especially during the course selection process. Guidance counselors are responsible for meeting one-on-one with each of their students, reviewing the premise of each course, and advising the student in the right direction. Each high schooler has a complex academic history that must be taken into account, and guidance counselors need to be experts on these profiles.
Out of curiosity, The Beak reached out to Sachem Hodgson, a guidance counselor in Folsom. Originally working as a French teacher, Hodgson wanted to broaden her duties and facilitate student development “in a more global way,” assuring that they would be both well-rounded and prepared for the future.
As expected, a guidance counselor typically has a packed schedule throughout the year. Hodgson explained that “we [guidance counselors] have busy periods throughout the year. In the fall, we are very busy with seniors. In the winter, we juggle course selection and junior college meetings.”
With many students planning their courses for next year, Hodgson has a series of suggestions: “[students should] take into thoughtful consideration the recommendations of their teachers and counselor. They should share as much as possible with their counselor about their goals and interests. They should consider electives as a way to explore possible career interests and passions.” Hodgson also emphasized the importance of a balanced schedule.
A handful of students agonize about how challenging it can be to narrow down the list of potential classes. Hodgson recognizes that there are often external pressures influencing a student’s decision-making: parents, friends, and the prospect of applying to competitive colleges.
Evidently, there is a lot to take into account while drafting a student’s schedule. With sixteen full-time guidance counselors in the building, each serve roughly one hundred and sixty-four students. Despite guidance counselors devoting time and energy to each individual, they still need to meet with one hundred and sixty-three of your peers.
With that being said, it’s important for students to do their part and acknowledge all of the effort that goes on behind-the-scenes. Grace Collier, a sophomore who has Ms. Hodgson as a guidance counselor, said that “She [Hodgson] is very relatable and gets to know you as a person, like what’s going on in your life outside of college and school.” Guidance counselors certainly invest in their students, and many can see that.