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Guidance Counselors Meeting by Emma Garlough

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Guidance Counselors Meeting

by Emma Garlough

High school is rapidly approaching, and students are experiencing a variety of emotions about the new experience. Some are excited, many are nervous, and others are just glad to be done with middle school. To help with choices such as which classes to take freshman year, guidance counselors and some teachers met with eighth-grade students. This event took place on Tuesday, December 5th, during the school day.

On November 28th, lists were posted regarding who would be meeting  with which counselor. There were about ten to fifteen students and one counselor per participating room. Students were sorted alphabetically, and discussions took place as a group. The counselors that students talked to will be their permanent counselor for their four years in high school at Naperville North or Naperville Central. During third period on the 5th, eighth-graders met with their counselors, introduced themselves, and received a planning guide that included graduation requirements and a list of available classes. The students also discussed their worries and hopes for high school, and – in some rooms – offered myths or rumors for the counselors to confirm or debunk.

When the bell rang, students were dismissed to learn about elective options during fourth period. These included music programs, visual arts, world language, theater, Career and Technical Education, and Family and Consumer Science. Within these categories, there were a variety of options. Seniors came along to talk about each world language class, and high school teachers introduced the other programs. Though many students had already known what they were planning to do for these classes, others found the information very helpful. For some people, there was some confusion over what they were supposed to do. One unfortunate person in this situation stated that “our counselor didn’t tell us where to go… in the end there were four classes in one group because three of us didn’t have a teacher”. This mixup was due to the fact that no teachers from NCHS came to give presentations.

Suggestions given to future freshmen included planning out their classes for the next four years and considering the option of summer classes, especially if they want to take a world language and take part in performance music for all four years of high school. In January, teachers will recommend students for classes. These recommendations will determine whether they will take honors or regular classes. Although they may ignore these recommendations, as counselors informed the future Huskies and Redhawks that the practice is not encouraged and could result in negative consequences – having only one week rather than two to drop the class without it showing up on their report card as a withdrawal. High school seniors all highly recommended the world language courses they took. As well as creating good impressions on college applications, they were considered to be very fun and laid-back courses. Not as much emphasis was placed on the music program during the presentation, though band director Mr. Michael McManis is strongly supporting entry to Concert Band and Wind Symphony.

Overall, Kennedy students had mixed feelings about how much they learned from or enjoyed meeting with the guidance counselors and elective teachers. Those who had older siblings in high school tended to share the opinion that they had already known all of the information they were given and thus were bored by the presentations, but oldest children were generally more forgiving, because they had few other sources for information. The next steps towards preparation for high school are teacher recommendations and signing up for courses.

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Guidance Counselors Meeting by Emma Garlough