Teacher to Counselor?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Moogeeg, Dec 24, 2014.

  1. Moogeeg

    Moogeeg Companion

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    Dec 24, 2014

    Hello, all! I am a first year high school teacher and I am starting to plan for my graduate degree, which I plan to start next fall. At this point, I am planning on doing a master's in school counseling.

    My program consists of 50 credit hours and also a 600 hour internship. I do not know many teachers who have gone for the degree because of the length of the program and internship requirements. I would have to complete my internship during the summer, on my planning period, and before and after school. It will be 1-2 semesters of hell, and I understand that.

    I have been told that the market is improving, but it seems that already being employed in a district would make it a bit easier to move to counseling once an opening occurs.

    Do any of you have a school counseling degree on top of your teaching certificate, or know anyone who does? Please share your experiences if you don't mind :)
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Dec 24, 2014

    I know many teachers who have earned counseling degrees while teaching. In my district most school counselors were once classroom teachers, although that is not a requirement for the job.

    From what I've heard, counseling programs are a lot of work, especially with all the required internship hours. If you can handle it, I think that it could be a good thing.

    I myself have considered school counseling. I haven't done it (yet?) mostly because I don't like many of the job duties performed by school counselors in my district (paperwork, looking at transcripts, instead of actually counseling students).
     
  4. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    I don't have counseling, but my case manager does. I think it is preferred that you have counseling here in order to manager SPED caseloads. She was a SPED teacher before obtaining the degree.
     
  5. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I have two friends who were counselors but are back in the classroom as they felt all their time involved testing and meetings about testing. I'm sure there are places that let counselors counsel but it's not in my part of Texas!
     
  6. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Yeah, all of those "other" positions that used to be about children....counselor, reading specialist, technology coordinator, etc....they're suddenly all about testing! (Not that being a regular teacher isn't, but you know what I mean.)
     
  7. Moogeeg

    Moogeeg Companion

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    Thanks for the input. I have noticed a lot of "extra" duties given to support staff. The entire month of April is going to be devoted to testing this year (or at least it seems that way in my state). I know that the counselors/social worker/etc are all busy with testing tasks.

    Honestly though, I am not sure that I mind all of the administrative tasks that come with the job. Testing wouldn't be fun, but I guess all of us teachers have to deal with testing in some way anyway=/. Crazy as it may sound, I think I might enjoy scheduling 400+ students each year. I think I am nuts=]
     
  8. Leatherette

    Leatherette Comrade

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    Dec 25, 2014

    I'm going from teacher to psych, and that is 90 hours plus 1200 internship hours....so the counselor program doesn't sound too bad. However, in my area (northwest), there are many more psych than counseling openings.
     
  9. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    If you have a stronger interest in the administrative side and less interest in counseling students, maybe you should consider a curriculum director position. I think? most of those positions require a Masters in education.
     
  10. Moogeeg

    Moogeeg Companion

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    Thanks for the idea. It is not that I am more interested in the administrative side, it is more that I am under no illusion that it will all be butterflies, happiness, and counseling about deep issues every day:) I am interested in both aspects. Part of the reason why I want to become a counselor is that students come to me with tricky issues, and I am often obligated to refer them to the counselor. I would love to be that source of support. I will look into the idea, though! Merry Christmas:)
     
  11. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    My best friend is a high school teacher and she is in a school counseling grad program now. She really likes the program. She works in a very rural district and apparently her school brought back a counselor from retirement because they simply couldn't find anyone else, so she feels like the job market in her area will be good. I teach in a different state, and where I am it's incredibly rare (in fact, I've never heard of it) to have a school counselor separate from the school psych. In our schools the school psych serves both roles. So if I were you I would ask around locally to see what it's like in your area.
     
  12. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    The counselors at my school still act as counselors. We need them! 2 is barely enough for all of the emotionally disturbed students and students facing other difficult situations that we have. I know they do have plenty of paperwork too (who doesn't) and they do a lot of outreach with parents and outside agencies that work with the most troubled students. I never heard of having counselors in elementary school until I came to inner city schools. Their jobs are essential. Good luck if you decide to pursue it.
     
  13. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    This is the role of all high school counselors in my area.
     
  14. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    I too went from teaching to psych. I often describe my graduate scho experience as "the worst three years of my life," not because I hated the program, (I actually loved it), but it was the most anxious, busy, stressed out time of my life. Most of the psychs I work with/come across have described it the same way. If I had to do it all over again, I would do it without hesitation. Good luck to you!

    As for School Counseling, I know the jobs in my area are few and far between. I have SC friends who are laid off every year, and have to scramble to find jobs. I know others who never found a job and just left the field altogether. I think already working as a teacher is a huge advantage, but depending on your location, it could be a while before jobs open up. Here in my area, Counselors don't do any counseling, except for crisis counseling. MFTs do all of the recurring/scheduled counseling.
     
  15. Leatherette

    Leatherette Comrade

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    Thanks, Sam!

    I actually haven't had a problem with stress during the program-I think it is a lot less stressful than teaching special ed. I am feeling ready to uh, start being paid. I am halfway through my internship, and I feel ready to be on my own. It is going by fast, though.
     
  16. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    I have thought about going back to school for counseling too. I cannot stop teaching to do the internship. I am not sure if in Ohio you can do it in the summer etc.
     
  17. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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