Counseling During COVID-19
Whether it is helping to acclimate incoming freshmen to high school or preparing juniors and seniors for college, counselors play an important role on the campus of Jesuit High School Sacramento.
With the COVID-19 pandemic making this year more stressful and complicated for many students than in years past, the counseling department has been doing its best to help. But with health and safety guidelines limiting in-person interaction and a number of students choosing to learn exclusively from home, counselors have been forced to get creative.
One of the challenges for counselors this year has been communicating with the students according to the Director of Counseling Services Mrs. Amanda Smith.
“At first it was a bit about having to change habits because while [students] had emails before, [they] heavily relied on the announcements… or us seeing [them] out on campus and saying ‘Oh hey, so and so, I just want to make sure you stop by today,’” Mrs. Smith said. “[The pandemic] changed the delivery system.”
While things have been different, Kaleo Nabeta ’22 enjoyed meeting with his counselor, Mr. Christopher Seibert.
“[He] connected with me and when I didn’t know something happened or wasn’t happening, [he] communicated to me and made sure I knew what was going on,” Kaleo said. “Also I didn’t really know about picking new classes for next year and [he] helped me [by] emailing me making sure I selected my classes.”
Before Jesuit allowed students back on campus in October, the school environment was completely remote. Issac Bolinger ’22 was one of many students who struggled with learning over Zoom. He credits his counselor Mrs. Smith with helping him find ways to stay more engaged in class.
“I could tell I was losing focus in class sometimes, and while I wanted to try and think of it like last year, it just wasn’t,” Isaac said. “My counselor helped me figure out what was going on and gave me good advice to use so that I could do my best over distance learning. I’m just glad that I can come to campus now at least.”
Distance learning and the challenges that COVID-19 has posed for everyone involved have been difficult, but it’s always important to look on the bright side, to try and put a little more positivity into the world. The Jesuit community has come a long way in the past year, and recognizing the hard work that our counselors have put in for us every day is just a start to the endless list of things we can be thankful for.