OSCA 2020 Virtual Conference
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
November 6th & 7th

OSCA 2020 Virtual Conference - November 6th & 7th, 2020
Date:        November 6th & 7th, 2020
Location:  Virtual
Keynote speaker:  Dr. Johnny Lake
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President’s Letter: The Work Before the Harvest

By Sue Harte
A lot of things crossed my mind when I thought of this topic. Stepping into the shoes of the OSCA President, I found myself focusing on growing our association. As I though more about it, my focus changed. This newsletter is about you and your program. The school counselor who is part of a team of school counselors, or the one who is not only the solo school counselor in the building but finds that they are expected to wear many more hats for the good of the district, and all the rest in between.

So, how do we grow our programs? Growth will look different at every school because we are different and our job descriptions/responsibilities are different, too. Our levels of experience and what that experience looks like makes a difference. As much as we are different, in most ways we are the same. We want what is best for our students, we want them to succeed and graduate, we want relationships with our parents, we want positive working environments, we want productive working relationships with our staff, we want to be a solid team with our administration, we want to feel fulfilled in our chosen profession, we want to prevent burnout, we want to provide a safe place for all the folks we work with, and on and on.

Since I work in ag country, it makes sense to relate what we do to growing plants. In no world can we expect to walk into a new field or garden and harvest right off the bat. There is some work that needs to be done way before that happens! Simply put, we have to gather the right tools, get down on our knees and get our hands dirty. We have to prepare the soil, add appropriate fertilizer, and plant the seeds. Then we need to make sure the seeds get water and sun. As the weeds show up, we need to make sure we take them out. During the process, we might find that we have the wrong tools so we need to exchange them for the right ones. We may discover that our knowledge and skills are lacking in one area or another, so we need to seek out a master gardener who can guide us. We make mistakes that we need to correct; perhaps we didn’t get all of the roots of the weeds pulled out and they grew back. Perhaps the harvest is bigger than we can handle and we need help getting it done.

What does your program look like? What needs to be weeded out? What needs to be planted? John Wesley said, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” I would add: ask for help when needed, and practice self-care!

Contact Sue Harte, OSCA president, at oscapresident@oscainc.org.

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