Awe is in the eyes of the beholder -- a dazzling golden sunset, an intricately decorated wedding cake, a dew dropped fern on a forest path, ice spraying as a skater lands a triple axel, the haunting melody of a solo violin. Yet, it is courage, kindness, resilience, and strength -- the goodness in others -- that most often evokes awe, according to Dacher Keltner, a psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley. As National School Counseling Week (Feb. 6th - 10th) is celebrated, this sense of awe strikes a chord.
Awe inspiring is the student who has faith and trust in their school counselor to share the triumphs and tragedies of their life, seeking and accepting support. Awe is the school counselor who starts a friendship group to create a place for an isolated student to be welcomed and accepted. Awe is the school counselor’s advocacy for a student to access the right curriculum, services, and programs to succeed. Awe happens every day in every school, as students and staff learn, grow, struggle, succeed, fail, shed tears, and find laughter and joy. School counselors are awed by the resilience, spirit, individuality, passion, and potential of the students they serve. In turn, the support, empathy, advocacy, kindness, and impact of school counselors provokes awe.
National School Counseling Week, Helping Students Dream Big, is a perfect time to notice, acknowledge, and celebrate the impact school counselors make for students, staff, the school, and community. School counselors are tasked with working with all students, supporting their academic, social emotional, and career development. They can be found teaching classroom lessons, facilitating small groups, counseling students, mediating conflicts between peers, consulting with staff and community agencies, collaborating with parents, advising students on career related topics, planning school-wide programming, delivering professional development, participating on school and district committees, improving school mental health systems, and advocating for equitable, child-centered, trauma sensitive policies, practices, and programs.
According to Keltner, “over 95% of the moral beauty that [stirs] awe world-wide [results from] actions people [take] on behalf of others.” We are so thankful to our Wisconsin school counselors, who inspire awe in us every day with your countless actions to Help Students Dream Big. Happy National School Counseling Week!
This item was submitted by Andrea Donegan, Education Consultant, Division of Student Services/Prevention and Wellness at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.