December 2017

President's Letter: To Cope, Connect

By Dana Kurilew
The past few months have been challenging for many across the nation. If you are like me, you find yourself waking up, listening to the news, and hearing reports of what amounts to one tragedy after another. Sadly, dozens of destructive hailstorms and tornadoes have wreaked havoc across the country, and the addition of violence in our towns and cities has been alarming and disheartening.

Now, more than ever, it is imperative that school counselors emerge as leaders in their districts in an effort to address and support the issues and needs of their students. Crisis can bring confusion and disorder that undermines the stability of a school and may bring with it feelings of anxiety, helplessness, and uncertainty. Knowing how to respond quickly and resourcefully in a crisis is critical to ensuring the safety and well-being of our students.

As your NJSCA president, I encourage you to utilize the insightful resources located on our website in order to support you as you work with students. In addition to the NJSCA resources, ASCA has developed a wide range of tools that can be used throughout your school year, including sample lesson plans, checklists, and back-to-school handouts. Membership in ASCA includes access to their SCENE Library and online school community, which provides school counselors with an environment to network and collaborate with one another 24/7. In addition to those resources, we also encourage school counselors to use your social media avenues, including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, to meet other school counselors and share information. You can start by following NJSCA’s Facebook or Twitter account today!

School counselors play a unique and vital role in the education system, and their work has significant impact on students. Remember as school counselors you are not alone and have a world of information at your fingertips. The NJSCA executive team, and the team at ASCA, thank you for working hard every day and assisting your students. We encourage you to continue to utilize resources and reach out to us if you need additional information throughout the year.
 
Contact Dana Kurilew, NJSCA president, at president@njsca.org