#FridayFeature: Michelle Wilkerson, Columbus School Counselor
Michelle Wilkerson | Columbus Elementary | School Counselor
Michelle Wilkerson decided to become a school counselor after a few years in the classroom.
“I was teaching in a very poor, rural school. Many of our students didn’t have electricity or running water. As a school, we did not have many available resources to help these students that were demonstrating high social-emotional needs.”
Initially, Wilkerson was hoping to learn some tools to help her students in the classroom. Instead, it led her to becoming a school counselor.
Wilkerson has been at Columbus and part of the District #7 staff for three years but has 14 years of experience as a teacher and a counselor out of state.
Her passion is helping individuals overcome obstacles. She enjoys helping students solve problems and move past difficult situations.
“Mental health is increasingly a struggle for many of our students. I am thankful that I can support those individuals that are going through a difficult time.”
As a school counselor, Wilkerson is a problem solver. She works with students individually in small groups, and in classrooms.
“A counselor’s goal is to develop skills to help students be successful in school.”
The thing she enjoys most about her job is that no two days are ever the same.
“I always have a long to-do list but know that each day an issue may arise that requires my immediate attention. I enjoy working in collaboration with other staff members to determine the best ways to help students.”
While some days are exhausting and there are many days that she wishes she could do more, it is always rewarding for Wilkerson to look back and know she helped a student.
“Sometimes the problems are small, and they just need a little encouragement. Sometimes the problems are large and require more involved plans of assistance. No matter the size of the problem, it is rewarding to see students overcome an obstacle and blossom.”