Happy National School Counseling Week! Get to Know our School Counselor

The week of February 3 – February 7, 2020 is National School Counseling Week.  Pardes Jewish Day School recognizes the importance of having a full-time school counselor on campus and the many benefits it provides our students, faculty and parents at all grade levels.

Jodi Woodnick is a licensed social worker who has been working with students in various settings for more than 20 years. We recently asked her a few questions about her role as the school counselor at Pardes.

What are the responsibilities of a school counselor? 

I like to think of myself as an “Executive Problem Solver.” Whether a student is struggling to fit in, a group of friends is having a disagreement, a parent is frustrated with keeping their child motivated to do school work, or a teacher needs to brainstorm a new way to get through to a student, I am there to provide guidance or just to listen. Together, we can face challenges head-on.

What is a typical day for you as the school counselor at Pardes?

My days are exciting and filled with different activities all day. On an average day, I meet one-on-one with two or three students either in my office or in a nice quiet spot on campus. Maybe a student is having a conflict with a peer, maybe they’re feeling sad or overwhelmed about something in the classroom or in their personal life – I try to help the students process their feelings and find a solution. Also, I visit a class or two each day to see what’s going on in the class or to work with the whole group on social skills such as communication, teamwork or resolving conflicts. I also spend time working with the teachers and administrators. I am available to staff to help them determine new and different ways to work with students. And, I love hanging out on the playground during recess. I bring out games for the kids to use, and I enjoy watching them put their good social skills into practice!

Why do you think it is important for a K-8 school like Pardes to have a school counselor?

Children are not born knowing instinctively how to socialize appropriately. As a school, Pardes is committed to teaching critical social skills to our students with as much specificity and intentionality as we teach math or reading. 

What do you enjoy most about your role as a School Counselor at Pardes? 

It’s a tie! I truly enjoy my wonderful relationships with the students, and I also really enjoy working with the incredible staff here at Pardes!

When you aren’t at Pardes, where can we find you?

When I’m not at Pardes, you can find me at the nearest Marshalls, a hiking trail or a yoga class.