Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
Wednesday, July 18, 2018 9:50 pm
Feb. 12, 2018

The backbone of Blair

by Mahnaz Habib, Ombudsman
"I think sometimes students think they have to do it alone now that theyíre in high school, or their friends are the only one they can go to. But thereís a reason that they have a support system, weíre always here to help," says Ms. Binnick, one of the many counselors at Blair, here to provide that extra support that everyone sometimes needs.

Throughout the week of February 5th, many Blazers may have passed by the large posters sitting right in front of the counseling office, labeled "National School Counseling Week." This week is all about celebrating the dedication and unique contribution of school counselors all over the country. Sponsored by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), this week was created to highlight the tremendous impact counselors have on a studentís success. Binnick is one of the 13 counselors at Blair, and is skilled in her own unique way. She shares her appreciation for working with such an amazing team of counselors, each bringing a different skill to the the table. "What makes our team really incredible is that we are all so skilled in different ways, and some of the strengths of the other counselors are definitely not my own," she laughs. Binick has often been recognized as an extremely caring and enthusiastic counselor, always in tune to the safety and well being of her students.
Binick brings an enthusiastic and caring attitude to her job, and always prioritizes the needs of her students.
Victoria Sampson
Binick brings an enthusiastic and caring attitude to her job, and always prioritizes the needs of her students.

Although itís not always easy to see, a counselorís daily schedule is filled with much more than just helping students register for classes. Itís not the same recurring pattern every day, because in a matter of one minute, an email may pop up from a teacher expressing a concern for a student, or an email from a parent concerned about their kidís schedule. Itís a large collaborative effort between parents, administrators and teachers to really tend to all of the studentís needs. If there is one thing that counselors must learn to do, it is to work as a team. "Itís always a collaborative effort. We are always working with all the types of people who are involved in studentsí lives in one way or the other. Itís a pretty diverse type of collaborative relationship we have with almost everyone," Binick says.

Ultimately counselors have one main objective: to make students feel supported and valued. Whether they have only met with the student once or on a daily basis, Binnick hopes that every student realizes there is an adult who is here to help through the good, the bad, and the terrible. "Whether it be a student on my caseload or not on my caseload, or whether I only interact with them a few times or every day, I want them to feel like they have a voice, and like they have someone who is always rooting for them," Binnick says.
Blair celebrates National Counseling Week to acknowledge the counselors' dedication to helping their students. Victoria Sampson
Blair celebrates National Counseling Week to acknowledge the counselors' dedication to helping their students.

Being a teenager is not easy, and whether itís academics or social pressures, itís hard to keep all those emotions suppressed when you really need to talk to someone. There are ups and downs, and counselors are here to be a part of it all. "Students donít always realize that we are there to help them through this messy life and all the crazy things that happen in teenage years," Binick says. They're not limited to fixing a hole in your schedule or college preparation, they're here to advocate for environment of support and encouragement As Binick always highlights, any student just needs a place to relax even for a few minutes, is more then welcome to visit her office. "If you need to get organized for class, if you need help with study skills, if you have no idea what you want to do with the rest of your life, if youíre just kind of having a bad day and you need a place a decompress or relax, know that you are not alone and we are here to help," Binick says.

Approaching an adult can feel awkward or uncomfortable. But it can also be valuable. You never know, maybe that one meeting with your counselor will be just the conversation you need and a great way to build a long lasting and trusting relationship. "My hope would be that students know about this support system and that they take that bold step to get to know their counselor better," Binick says.

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