BC Counsellor - Winter 2014 - (Page 4)

President's Message Jim Hooper In a recent conversation, I used the term "school counselling professionals" to describe my own team of colleagues. A discussion ensued about whether we school counsellors constitute a unique profession. It got me to wondering. To be clear: We school counsellors are all professionals. We are well-educated teachers, counsellors, or psychologists of some kind; all of us merit the term "professional." But can we school counsellors claim to constitute a professional entity separate from other types of counsellors? Let's look at some commonly accepted traits of professional classes and see if we, as a group, would fit the bill. Long period of education. We have this criterion aced. Some of us have more degrees than a thermometer. Theory-based skills. With masters-level education in psychology and related fields as the current norm, we generally shape up well in this regard, too. Testing of competence. We passed all those exams, survived those clinics and practica, and fulfilled the registration and hiring criteria. Code of ethics. Many of us subscribe to more than one. To start with, in this province there's the BCSCA code. Some of us also heed the ethical codes of various associations of counsellors, psychologists, and other professionals. Sometimes these codes conflict with each other and ethical dilemmas ensue. But better to subscribe to two codes rather than none. Inaccessible body of knowledge. We often run into people who think they know all about our job because their ex-sister-in-law was a school counsellor, or they'd had a session or two at school when they were kids. Little do they know that our three E's-education, experience, expertise-make a potent cocktail of knowledge that is not available to outsiders. Legitimacy. We exert clear authority over many of our activities, and we make valuable contributions to situations where authority is shared-with teachers, administrators and social workers, for instance. Professional association. The BCSCA stands on guard for us, and we for it. Mobility. As our skills and moral authority reside in us rather than in our schools and employers, we can take our act elsewhere, subject only to licensing rules in various other parts of the country and world. Public service and altruism. Seriously, can anyone beat us at that? So far, so good. Let us continue. High status and rewards. These vary, depending on our working environment, personal relationships with colleagues, career stage, and others' esteem for us. Being a modest bunch of people overall, we tend to measure our success by job fulfillment and achievement rather than by status and monetary reward. That's a good thing, as high recompense and prestige are hard to come by in our profession. Self-regulation. We strike out in this at-bat, as we have no regulatory body to call our own. Work autonomy. Our degree of autonomy depends largely on factors external to us: our supervisors, district expectations, and so on. We must keep advocating for the freedom to do what needs doing. So, do we make the grade as a distinct profession? In my view, we can make a good argument. In any case, musing about the question can inspire us to keep building our own brand of professionalism. 4 We school counsellors are all professionals. We are welleducated teachers, counsellors, or psychologists of some kind; all of us merit the term "professional." But can we school counsellors claim to constitute a professional entity separate from other types of counsellors? BC Counsellor | Winter 2013-14 | www.bcschoolcounsellor.com http://www.bcschoolcounsellor.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BC Counsellor - Winter 2014

President’s Message
The Fine Print
Social Media 101
Embracing Social Media in Guidance and Career Education
Top 10 iPad Counselor Apps
BCSCA Conference 2013 — Full Coverage!
Counsellor’s Corner
Index to Advertisers

BC Counsellor - Winter 2014

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