Counselor Laura Wittchen Supports Student Social-Emotional Learning

Laura Wittchen was working as an admission counselor for a college when she realized that the favorite part of her job was meeting high school students and discussing their career goals. That was when she decided to get her master’s degree in school counseling. After enrolling in a school counseling program, she found her way to the elementary school setting.


“I traded sitting in a chair for sitting crisscross applesauce with lots of ease,” Wittchen said. 

Wittchen, who works with PreK-2nd grade students, has been at Union Springs Central School District for two years. She says that post-pandemic, she has noticed a socialization deficit.


“I spend a lot of time helping students understand how their behaviors affect others and why it's important to consider how others feel,” Wittchen said. “I also saw a lot of children struggling to interact with peers in playful ways.” 

For Wittchen, the work is rewarding in many ways. She commented that watching a student regulate their inner world on their own is the most satisfying thing to witness.


“I believe that children are capable of their own social-emotional and behavioral journey,” Wittchen said. “We help provide them the tools, but it's not until they have their own ‘ah-ha’ moment that true growth is made.”


To take care of her own mental health, Wittchen enjoys spinning on her Peloton bike, going on adventures to new places and trying new foods.


“The unknown brings me a sense of wonder and excitement,” Wittchen said.


To date, she has been to 45 countries, lived and worked abroad and tried countless new cuisines. Her favorite country abroad is Australia, but her favorite culinary adventure was India.