This is written by guest writer Lila Cohen.
Mrs. Sydney Herman, academic advisor, loves to spend her time helping kids. With two kids of her own, whom she describes as her “inspiration and motivation in life,” Mrs. Herman chose a career in academic advising in order to help other children. Growing up, Mrs. Herman wanted to be a mom first and foremost, but also considered being a marine biologist. She was always involved in youth programs, from coaching to soccer teams in college to working as a counselor at sleepaway camps.
While Mrs. Herman is relatively new to academic advising, being a stay at home mom for five years after working as a teacher at Franklin Academy, she has a background in social work, with degrees from California State Channel Islands and the Hunter College School of Social Work.
She described being able to work with kids as her favorite part of her job, with her least favorite part being working in an office instead of hands-on with kids. Her day to day tasks include having meetings with individual students and parents about how they are adjusting to junior high.
Mrs. Herman’s coworkers seem to have positive opinions of her, with fellow adviser Jodi Singer describing her as “sweet, enthusiastic, and happy go lucky.”
With adjusting to a new job comes the added struggle of facing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Although Mrs. Herman is unable to compare her job now to pre-COVID, being new, she says that she’s “scared for [her] children, seeing them saying and understanding things no child should be worrying about at that age.” She also notes the pandemic’s effect on the children she works with. “I see a lot more anxiety, not only about getting sick but about not remembering how to socialize or make friends,” she said.
Outside of school, Mrs. Herman has led an interesting life, even playing a part in a few episodes of the reality show “Freshman Year,” which was filmed at her high school. “The best advice I’ve ever received was from my mother: a degree is the one thing no one can ever take away from you,” Mrs. Herman said. This advice encouraged her to finish college and go on to pursue a degree in social work.
Other inspiration comes from Peloton instructors, including multiple motivational quotes that can be found hanging on the walls of her office. Mrs. Herman would offer students this piece of advice: “Enjoy the moment, slow down, and be a kid,” adding that “Everyone is in a rush to grow up all the time, but it’s important to just experience life.”