March 2020

President’s Letter: Taking Care in Tough Times

By Rhonda Harper
The past couple of weeks have been very difficult. At my school, we had two student deaths and a shelter-in-place due to shots being fired across the street from our school. Needless to say, our counseling department, staff, students and community have been struggling. In times like these we go back to the basics of our counseling profession: self-care, self-care, self-care!

As school counselors, we are very often the rock for our community. We help students, parents and staff process difficult events, while teaching resiliency and coping skills. Our stakeholders look to us to help get everyone through such events. We lead and we absorb and we help! Then we go home.

Often we go home to our families who still need us. They have had difficult days or have situations we need to help them with. Often we don’t take the time to process all that we have been through because we are there for everyone else. I encourage you to give yourself that time. Make it a priority! If it’s soaking in a nice warm bath, or journaling, or watching your children play sports, or exercising – whatever it is, DO IT. Burnout is a real thing and we need to take care of ourselves and look out for each other. Our school counseling team was blessed by two other counseling teams at two high schools close to us. They brought food, comfort and love. They helped us through! Look out for each other and take care of yourselves.

If you are struggling, reach out to us. You can reach me at We have tough jobs and we need to lean on each other. As we head into spring and the home stretch before summer vacation, stop to smell the rain and flowers. Enjoy life!

It would be great to see you at the ASCA conference at the end of June. It’s in Seattle this year and we are hoping to host a meet-and-greet again. See you there!

Contact Rhonda Harper, NMSCA president, at