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A message from the Executive Director
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Many people traveled miles to be in the “path of totality” to view the August 21, 2017 solar eclipse.  In the days leading up to the solar eclipse there was much talk about how much of the eclipse one would be able to see and how much darkness would cover the area.  Many wanted to be in an area of the country where they could see this event.  They wanted high visibility.

Visibility is the state of being able to see or be seen

In a recent google search I found an interesting article on quite the opposite.  It is a wikiHow article on “How to Avoid Being Seen.” The article lists 10 ways to remain hidden and how to remain unseen.  The 10 ideas shared in the article included ideas like:

Credit: Rick Fienberg / TravelQuest International / Wilderness Travel
  •  “Do not stand up!”  - suggesting that if you are hiding behind something, standing up may make you visible.
  • “Keep as small as you can!” – after all, the smaller you make yourself, the less there is to see!
  • “Pick a place of cover to hide behind.” – don’t be obvious, instead seek out a place that you can easily hide.
  • “Avoid eye-contact.”  - asserting that once you look another person in the eye, they are more likely to examine you even further.
  • “Keep as quiet as you can!” – suggesting that if you make noise, this will draw attention to you and you are more likely to be seen.

WikiHow (n.d.). Avoid being seen. Retrieved from

These two concepts made me reflect on our work as School Social Workers.  I wonder if we often try to avoid being seen.  Do we keep our role a secret?  Do we try to stay small and quiet so that others do not recognize us or see the work that we do in the school?  Do we avoid eye contact and do we seek cover so that our work is not obvious to others?

Instead, will we take hold of our professional role with pride?  Will we go the distance to put ourselves in the path of totality so that we can see and be seen?

School Social Work is an admirable profession.  And, while many of us did not select this profession for recognition or fame, we do take pride in our work and the valuable service we provide to students, families, and staff in the schools in which we work. 

The School Social Work Association of America has a vision for 2020!  School Social Workers will be seen as visible, vital & valuable contributors of expertise, services, & resources in schools. SSWAA commits to provide training and resources to assist in this effort.  SSWAA invites you to join us by becoming a member of the School Social Work Association of America to support a strong nation voice!  Being visible is not just about being seen, it is also about being heard and we need your membership to help us represent our profession!  Finally, in order to see this vision to fruition, SSWAA will also provide advocacy training to assist members in drawing attention to their professional skills and expertise through professional personal advocacy and macro advocacy.


Why join SSWAA?  Well, we have 20 reasons!  But, the most important is to be a part of something bigger than yourself and do your part in moving our profession forward. Help School Social Workers be seen as visible, vital, & valuable in schools with a strong voice!  As Jim Carey put it, “Risk being seen in all of your glory!”  Join SSWAA and stand with us and be seen as vital professionals!


Rebecca Kunkel Oliver, 

Executive Director
School Social Work Association of America

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