Resident Counselor (Former Employee) – New Bern, NC – September 6, 2012
Shifts are long, at least 15 hours a day and you sleep on site. A typical day includes driving the students to school and appointments, grocery shopping, continually typing notes on student progress, helping students search for jobs, do homework, cook dinner, play sports. Assist students through behavioral outbursts/crisis using the given teaching model. The students I worked with were coming out of youth detention centers and are older (16-18) so they are difficult to work with and do not take instruction well if they don't see the immediate personal benefit. You will learn a LOT about communication, feedback, and working as a team.
Management in Raleigh's head office seems dedicated to the children and consistent in their efforts with new hires, but at the home was very biased towards certain employees and inconsistent with training, meetings, and giving feedback. Working with coworkers was even more difficult. Some didn't do any work, others didn't communicate, others seemed like everything was fine until they got a chance to talk to management.
The hardest part of the job is figuring out where you fit in. It seems like every time you start to figure it out something gets messed up. Turnover is high, which doesn't help. The most enjoyable part of the job is having those good moments with the kids where you know you've made a difference and feel that they really learned something and appreciate that you took the time to care.
free food at the home, great benefits
long shifts with no breaks, coworkers, sleep on site
I would come in and review student work and goals for the day. I also needed to get updates on general moods, absences for the day, any visitors or meetings scheduled. On some days, I may have to discontinue teaching for a couple hours, or assign work for a counselor to monitor, in order to transport a student to an appointment or public school to meet with administration. The abilities to flow with last minute changes and not be judgmental are required components for working in this environment.
Had a great onsite supervisor, who left shortly after me.
Central office management makes arbitrary decisions and did not follow their own policy manual.