Although students and staff may have thought Wootton was selling the brand new iPhone X, the long lines running through hallways can be traced back to the jam-packed counseling office during the first weeks of school. From teacher requests to class changes, the counseling office is where hordes of students wait to attempt to get the ideal schedule. Because of limited supply and high demand, not all students can get what they desire.
Students at the beginning of each year are desperate to change their schedule. In an ideal world, every student would have the “best” teacher in the perfect class. But, when we snap back to reality, groups of students every year don’t get the switch they want. While certain students find dealing with counseling easy and pleasant, others get frustrated by the lack of accommodation made by their specific counselor.
Although not all students leave the counseling office completely satisfied, it is important to note that counselors are on the student’s side and, in most cases, do everything they can to accommodate their requests. “We get class size caps directly from the county,” head of the counseling department Theresa Dethlefsen said.
When a student can’t get switched into a class they want, it is not always the counselor’s choice. They take directions and have limits just as any other employee.
More so, the counseling office also has certain priorities when fielding numerous requests at once. For example, a counselor will focus on fixing a scheduling mixup, such as a wrong class level or a hole in a schedule, before accommodating specific teacher requests. This explains why students are often able to easily fix schedule errors but not specific teachers. “I was able to easily fix my schedule and my counselor was really helpful,” sophomore Andy Ram said.
Accommodating specific teacher requests simply because of a student’s preference takes a back seat. Some students find this reality less than optimal. As a junior and senior considering college recommendations, continuity is crucial. Students need to build relationships with teachers in order to ask them to write a recommendation. “Consistency has been an issue at my time at Wootton. I’ve had three counselors and my teachers switch from semester to semester,” senior Gabi Menconi said.
Asking for a college recommendation from a teacher is a lot to ask. While counselors get paid to write recs, teachers take their own time to do so. Appropriately, teachers don’t say yes to everyone. For a teacher to agree, they often must be close with the student- a relationship hard to cultivate with teachers switching each semester.
As the year goes on, students are encouraged to stop by with any questions or concerns. The counseling office exists to help students get what they need to succeed.