BSTA School Counseling
The Starfish Story
One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?” The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.” “Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!” After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said…..“I made a difference for that one.”
“Each individual student”
One role school counselors have is the role of advocacy for each of their students. Core to my belief system as a school counselor is that I want to always see each student as an individual, with unique needs, challenges, experiences and abilities. Early in my school counseling career, I adopted a starfish as a symbol to remind me of this, as my own personal focus as a school counselor.
Advocating for my students may look different in different situations and settings. For some students, it may mean that I sit on their IEP team to contribute support regarding their future career plans, behavioral goals, or social/emotional needs. For others, it may mean that I am the person they can come to when they are being bullied. For all students, it means that I may introduce topics such as diversity and social justice into school-wide activities or classroom lessons. I believe strongly that all students should feel welcome and included in their school. I want all students to feel like I have their back and that our school is a safe place for every student.