Kristin Ullrich, Counselor, Jackson-Via Elementary School
 
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
First I want to say how much I love my job. It’s a privilege to build relationships with my students and have them trust me with their problems. Being aware of the struggles they are experiencing makes it difficult not to worry about them when I leave school and go home to my own family. I am working on leaving these worries at school so I can be fully present at home. Trying to achieve this balance between needs at school and home is a common endeavor among adults I work beside at Jackson-Via.
 
What’s the most common misconception about your job?
Some people don’t understand the role of the elementary school counselor and think back to when they were in high school and guidance counselors were mostly responsible for scheduling and writing letters of recommendation for students applying to college. Elementary school counselors work with students individually, in small groups, in the classroom, and through school-wide programs helping students with academic, social and emotional needs.
 
Where do you see the teaching field in 5 years?
It’s exciting to see how technology is being integrated into the classroom, giving students and teachers access to so many interesting, engaging resources. I see more technology in the future, but integrated in ways that continue to bring students and teachers across the country and world together in global learning communities.
 
What outside experience best prepared you to become a counselor?
I was a platform diver in college and was fortunate to have many coaches who helped guide and motivate me. I also coached children in and after college and discovered how much I loved working with children, encouraging them to work hard and helping them set and reach their goals. My parents were both public school teachers and from the time I was a child I knew how much I wanted to work in a school environment. Becoming a school counselor brought together my love for working with and helping children with my desire to work in and be a part of a public school community.