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A Letter to School Counselors

By Lorrie-Anne Monte | March 2022

I will be honest: I agonized for days over what to write in this letter and I rewrote it a thousand times. Why did I pick the edition focused on trauma? What could I say about trauma that you have not personally experienced during the last two years? What could I say that would be worthwhile reading? And then it came to me. Everyone wants to feel seen, heard and valued, and that is something that I can do.

To the school counselor reading these words:
I see you.
I see you showing up for work with that beautiful smile on your face.
I see you when you must force that smile, when you feel exhausted, when you feel sick or when you feel sad.
I see you encouraging your students, day in and day out. All day, every day.
I see you solving problems, putting out fires and handling crises.
I see you taking a breath when you must go to that meeting or deal with that difficult situation.
I see your disappointment and discouragement when things fall apart.
I see your concern for your colleagues and friends.
I see your love and worry for your own family.
I see you doing whatever it takes to keep it together and keep going.

I hear you.
I hear your enthusiasm and dedication to your work.
I hear your compassion for your students and your empathy for their families.
I hear your positivity and motivating phrases.
I hear your fears and I know that they keep you up at night.
I hear the stress in your voice when you sense your students are struggling.
I hear you searching for more strategies.
I hear you listening to the pain of others.
I hear you celebrating accomplishments and progress.
I hear you always wanting to do more, learn more, be more.

And I just want to say thank you.
Thank you for showing up.
Thank you for being there.
Thank you for always listening.
Thank you for being kind.
Thank you for being compassionate.
Thank you for caring so much.
Thank you for being so brave.
Thank you for being a school counselor.
You are valued beyond measure.

Lorrie-Anne Monte, Ph.D., is a former high school counselor. She is currently an assistant professor and fieldwork coordinator in counselor education at Western Connecticut State University. She is also a past president and the Counselor Educator VP for the Connecticut School Counselor Association. Contact her at