You Can’t Form A Puzzle with Missing Pieces

My son discussing his "new counselor"

My son discussing his “new counselor”

I wrote a posting a few months ago about reaching kids beyond a subgroup. Apparently, my son’s school has missed the mark…again. This week he came home and declared that he gets to go see a “special counselor” at school. He went on to say that he and his friends get to leave class to go see this counselor because of the “problems” that he had in junior high. I’m still confused as to what junior high problems that he is speaking of. My son continued that he was fine with it because the counselor told him that he would take them to have pizza and that he could also feel free to discuss any problems that he may be having at home too. What???

To say that I am a bit upset is an understatement. Since when does a school call in a special counselor without discussing its intentions with parents? My son says that he and his friends were placed on a list by his junior high teachers. Also, he attends “group sessions” with this person. Again…what???

I get that mentorship is one way of reaching “at-risk” kids, however I have to question the methods and intentions in this case. Why is he on this list? What other sub-groups are represented? Did I miss that he needed therapy for these perceived problems that he’s having? Are we not doing enough for him at home?

I want to see the good in this…that this special counselor can help him to not get lost in the shuffle of freshman year. In all honesty, it may very well be a good thing. I don’t know as I was not a part of this decision and I have no idea who this man is. The not knowing part is mind boggling. This entire scenario is disturbing.

What I do know is that regardless of the number of counselors brought in, if antiquated “out of touch” instruction continues in the majority of that building…their “parent-free” plan will be as ineffective as they started it.

This is not edreform but a way to say that “we did something” without actually doing the right thing. Where is the training for teachers on diverse learners? Where is innovation beyond the AP classrooms? Where is the move towards more progressive instruction that is inclusive as opposed to exclusive? Where are the classroom teachers that truly do care about their students?

A “special counselor” was brought in to address kids but for some reason no thought was put into addressing the adults in the building. Then again, I wouldn’t even know because parents were apparently not considered either.

The intentions of my son’s high school may have been in the right place but this was NOT the way in which to do it.


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