By Rylie Young
Genuine, caring, and humorous. That’s how Megan Coggins, our school counselor, would describe herself. Counseling has always been an interest of Megan’s, “It kind of like is my life, in some ways,” she admitted, Growing up, she was the person her friends and other people would go to when they wanted to talk. “I was like ‘Oh, I should be a counselor, cause people like to tell me what’s going on in their life, and I actually like, care about them,’ so counseling is kinda like a way of viewing life in my head.”
This is her third school year here at ACA. She started as an intern, and was hired the next year. She went to school with the intent to become a counselor for six years, four for a Bachelor’s degree, and two for a Master’s. She had her future planned before even graduating, “I always kinda knew what I wanted to do, I was like that weird kid that knew what they wanted to do in high school.” says Megan.
Megan’s favorite thing about her job is getting to meet with students all the time because it could never possibly be boring. There’s always something new to talk about, “I get to hear about your lives, like the good things, the bad things, just get to know you guys really well, which is cool.”
Coggins says one of the reasons she wanted to become a counselor is because she cared about people and their lives. “I know there’s like pain that everyone has on their life,” says Megan, “I wanted my job to like mean something. I wanted to help people and be there for their worst of times and their best of times just like that extra support,”
Nic Chapin, Coggins’ associate, and school principal says, “I see her work, I think definitely with our kids it takes a unique skill set to be able to work with so many different kids on so many different levels.”He believes she does an excellent job of working through those situations with students, so that they can go back out into the school world and be prepared to learn, and be focused. Rather than being distracted with those other things they are dealing with. If things aren’t going great or if they need to talk to somebody she can be there. “I think that trickles down into our number one job as a school and that’s to educate kids. To lessen some of those barriers maybe towards education,”.
Kids seem to gravitate towards her personality, one student says, “I really like her, and most of the people I talk to that see her like her a lot,” Being a person that people want to talk to and be around is critical for her role.
Megan also has began teaching a class this year, “I created it with the idea that I wanted it to be a place where kids could just learn at least one new thing about themselves. So, that’s the whole point of the class. We are just going about it by learning about different values and things in life. Emotions and how to deal with stress, problem solving, things like that. We hang out and talk, I want to hear everyone’s opinions, we just dialogue about what they think about things basically, play games, talk basically,” says Megan on her class, where students should learn about themselves, located in the Art Room. “It’s really fun. It’s like a loosely based class, and hopefully they are learning something from it. I don’t know, being a teenager is hard so you just get to learn about yourselves that’s the whole goal of being a teenager is to learn about yourself. It’s fun, it’s chaotically fun.”
Nic Chapin also had something to say about her class, “I think has been a whole experience in itself,” He has heard lots about her class from students and their parents, he says “And I think from the feedback I’ve gotten, a lot of kids have gotten a lot out of it, so I think she does many things. She’s support, she’s teaching, she’s guiding, and so I think that’s kind of her nature is to be somebody to help.”
Megan considers listening one of her important responsibilities, as well as helping problem solve, caring, and being ethical. “Basically that you guys feel heard and that you are safe, I want this space [her office] to feel safe so that when you come here it’s like your safe zone. Talk about whatever you want, but I’m going to do my very best to make sure that you are safe when you are in here.”
Coggins, Megan. Personal Interview. Nov 28, 2017.
Chapin, Nic. Person Interview. Nov 29, 2017.