School Counselors and “Extra Duties”

Recess Duty

Lunch Duty

Specials Rotation Classes

Testing Coordinator

It goes on and on. Everyone in a school must pull together to make it work, so teamwork counts, but what do you do when you feel that all the extra duties are creating a serious problem in meeting the goals of the actual job description for a school counselor? There is no one right answer as it depends of course on the policies of the school district you work in, the administration at your school and the school priorities and culture. Here are some tips to help you gain clarity:

First take some time to review the ASCA guidelines for the school counselor role. The ASCA recommends school counselors spend 80% or more of their time in direct and indirect services to all students and 20% or less of their time in program planning and school support.

Second do a time assessment for a typical week and plot the number of hours in direct student contact, indirect student services and “other duties”.

Schedule a time to talk with administration about your concerns. Come prepared with a positive attitude and the data you have accumulated. In addition, have a viable suggestion for a way to correct the problem. Sometimes being a team player means helping others see alternative solutions, not just going along with the plan.

Finally, if despite all your best efforts, you are unable to effect a change where you feel one is needed, do your best to make the best of the situation. Can you use lunch duty to connect with students in a different environment? Could you start a lunch group for new students so they can make friends? Can you teach cooperative games during recess duty? This might create some conflict with the role you are assigned so be sure to get clarity on your role. Meanwhile you might decide to look for other job possibilities that better meet the needs of the students as well as use your expertise.


Leave a Comment