New to FCPS, school counselor Sarah Snyder came to the CHS staff to help out in Subschool 2. Snyder used to work at Arlington for 5 years before coming to FCPS.
What made you choose the career path of a counselor?
I actually started off thinking I wanted to be a physical therapist. Then, I realized that my whole life I had already performed a sort of counseling role a little bit with my friends, where they would come and want to talk to me. I also decided that I loved learning about the mind, considering how fascinating psychology is. From there, I attended William & Mary for my B.S. in Psychology, and Virginia Commonwealth University for my M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling with a School Counseling endorsement.
How has the school year started off for you?
I have loved it so far. I can honestly say that Chantilly is a fantastic community, and I absolutely love working with the staff and the students. I was impressed with the size of the school, and also how they have managed to make it feel like home for both staff and students. The staff have also been receiving professional development and other support tools so we can be the best staff for our students, so I am excited for what this year will look like moving forward.
How does it feel being back in person, instead of virtual learning?
It’s a lot less stressful than it was back when we were virtual. When we’re in person, if I want to talk to a student, all I have to do is go to their classroom and grab them. I felt like virtual learning put a bit too much responsibility and stress on the students, and having that layer removed is certainly something I’m happy about.
As you know, we’re adaptable. Would I be able to go back to virtual learning if I had to? Absolutely. Would I prefer it? No, but no matter what, we can make it work. We’re resilient, and we could absolutely figure it out, as long as we can adapt to provide a positive learning experience for the students, as well as making sure the staff members can comfortably provide said experience, so it can still be beneficial for both teacher and student.
Has COVID affected the way you interact with students?
Yes and no. I think COVID was really a challenge, but I think it makes us realize that people do better than others in-person, and really, I just try to work with what’s best for students. I like that COVID has helped me open up other avenues, as I had to work with different methods of contacting and working with students, so it has certainly affected my interactions in some form, but overall, I’m just happy to work with students face-to-face once more.
Outside of teaching, what do you like to do outside of school?
I love to go hiking with my husband, and my two rescue dogs. We like to hike in multiple areas, like Great Falls, Middleburg, and we’ll even do some hiking down in North Carolina. I‘ve played volleyball for a very long time, and I love to watch both women’s indoor and beach volleyball. I am a Washington Capitals hockey fan, and Washington Nationals baseball fan. I also love to watch movies.