By Adviser Caroline Peterson, Bunn High in Franklin County
Entering the school on Monday I was greeted with many familiar faces from both students and staff.
In the hallway I even had a couple students smile and say “Good Morning Ms. Peterson.” I knew where I was going, what I needed to do that day, and was more prepared than I ever felt. Students would stop me and ask for directions, and a few students even came in one day to start talking about college applications and what their next steps will be. I feel comfortable in my school, with my students and staff, and in my role as the go-to person to help students with their future.
This is a great improvement from last year when, obviously, no one knew who I was. I got some stares and inquisitive looks, but no one came to see me that first day. That was a good thing too because I didn’t have access to a computer, my school email, power school, or wifi. I spent that first day last year walking around the school so I knew where things were and trying to introduce myself to staff that I hadn’t had the chance to yet. I made an effort last year to be visible. I spoke at assemblies for all grades, went into all different classes, and always stood in the hallway during class change. This year, I am seeing that work pay off.
It is so nice that my students recognize me and can associate my face with the resources I can give them. The College Advising Corps is a great program working on improving the college-going culture in high schools across the country, but it only works if the students actually see what you are doing. Bulletin boards, announcements, social media, even just standing in the hallway to answer quick questions can all greatly improve how your students see you, and how they see their future. I am excited to begin this new school and help a whole new group of students do whatever it is they want to do.