How to contact your guidance counselor

March 23, 2010 — by Brandon Yang

Guidance counselors are familiar figures around school. In the fall, they visit the classrooms to discuss requirements and again at the end of the year to educate students about classes for the next year. Even so, some students are not sure what to talk about with their counselor or when to make appointments, resulting in rare visits—and the failure to make an important connection.

Perhaps some students do not really know how to make an appointment in the first place. The process is simple: Just fill out one of the blue appointment requests in the office and put it in the counselor’s box in the guidance office. Sending your counselor a message online also works.

“A lot of them e-mail me, and then they’ll say, ‘can you pull me out tomorrow?’ and I’ll do that whenever they need,” said guidance counselor Frances Saiki.

As for when to make the appointments, counselors generally try to call students to their office during the requested period on the day they receive the slip or the day after if the student is busy during class.

“I usually try to get to them as soon as I can,” said Saiki. “I try to honor the time they want to get pulled out, but sometimes they’re taking a test or what not, and they can’t come out, but I usually try to see them within in a day.”

Many students also visit their counselors after school and during tutorial, said guidance counselor Dona Feizzadeh, resulting in lines in the guidance office, especially at the beginning of the year during college application season and at the end of the year when students try to figure out what they want to take next year.

Students can also try e-mailing their counselors questions, as some counselors will reply quickly if the question is simple. Other counselors may prefer to call the student in to answer the question, especially if the answer is potentially confusing.

As for what students can discuss with or ask their counselors, the answer is pretty much anything, from SATs to sports, although most people go to their counselors for advise concerning their future.

“Students are very interested in college planning. I spend much time explaining Naviance to my students and how the computer program can assist them in the college search pursuits,” said Feizzadeh. “Students also commonly ask about scheduling requests and we often times discuss their passions outside of the classroom. ”

So whether they send an e-mail or see the counselor in person, students should remember that they are always there to help them with any questions about high school, college or anything else.

“Our time is really here for the students, so any time we can meet with students is what we want to do and what we like to do,” said Saiki. “I just say, ‘Anytime, come on in, I’m always here, ready to help.'”

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