This week’s feature for Teacher of the Year is Meghan Geisler, a counselor at Springdale Elementary School.
Geisler has been working as an elementary school counselor in Wilson County for six years. Before coming over to Springdale when it opened three years ago, she was at Stoner Creek Elementary. She also worked in Georgia as a community counselor before she and her husband moved to Tennessee.
Geisler attended the University of West Georgia where she received her bachelor’s in psychology and her master’s of education in school counseling.
As a counselor at Springdale, Geisler works with all students pre-k through fifth grade in counselor classes. She is also the small-group coordinator and sees students individually.
She became interested in school counseling when she was in high school, utilizing their services while preparing for college. She was curious about the unique role of the counseling office, so she changed her class schedule to complete internships with elementary and high school counseling.
Though she has worked with various ages, she loves the proactive role of elementary counseling. She is able to see more students in small groups and have monthly counselor classes.
“I have the highest regard for our teachers here,” she said. “[They] are amazing. I think it’s a quality of teachers that they are so natural at it that they don’t realize what they have.”
Geisler said part of her role is to encourage the teachers and remind them how much they do for their students every single day. She also lets students know that she is there to assist with their feelings and problems and to help them be successful at school.
“Education is so important so I want them to not be burned out,” she said. “I want them to feel that they belong and they’re part of our family and that every classroom and every school they go into is there’s. It’s their story to tell and they get to write how the chapter ends. Even if it wasn’t a great chapter, you still get to write it and move on.”
“[Education] is a lifelong journey, so I want it to be positive and theirs,” she said.
Aside from being the school’s counselor, she also works with the backpack program, an optional program which provides food for children who need it outside of school. Other community resources are made available for students and their families. She credits these programs to the generosity of the community.
Geisler was blown away and humbled after learning she was chosen to represent Springdale as Teacher of the Year.
“I would not be successful without each of them,” she said. “They are a huge part of me wanting to do the job that I do and be the school counselor.”
Being chosen by her colleagues has helped her confidently know the impact she has.
“Every day they impact me so positively, they keep me going,” she said. “To know it was mutual was really awesome.”
Geisler said a key for schools being successful is communication, everyone connecting and working together.
“I’m not alone in anything I do,” she said, “because I would be unsuccessful by myself.”