EC/ES School Counseling Page
School counselors help students improve their academic achievement and develop their personal skills.
Parents often wonder what the school counselor does on a daily basis. The more important question is not what 'What do school counselors do?' but 'How are your children different because of what school counselors do?' Here is some information that can help you understand what the school counselor can do to help your child.
School counselors are specially trained professionals who understand and respond to the challenges presented by today's diverse populations. They don't work in isolation; instead they are integral to the educational process. School counselors help prepare students for success in the ever-changing world of the 21st century.
School counselors help students:
- Improve academic achievement.
- Plan and prepare for productive and fulfilling careers.
- Develop the personal and social skills they'll need as contributing and responsible members of society.
School counselors develop and implement comprehensive school counseling programs designed to meet the needs of every student. Through these programs, school counselors provide classroom guidance lessons, individual student planning, responsive services and system support.
Classroom guidance lessons help students understand themselves and others. Through classroom guidance, school counselors help students develop peer relations, effective social skills, decision-making and study skills, effective communications, conflict resolution and coping strategies and more.
Individual student planning helps students set goals, establish academic and career plans, understand their own strengths and weaknesses and prepare for the transition to the next stage of life.
Responsive services assist students with particular needs, such as adjusting to a new school, coping with grief following a crisis, dealing with substance abuse or other risky behaviors. Responsive services are provided through individual and small group counseling, peer facilitation, and consultation and referrals to professionals trained in mental health, welfare and other specialties.
System support enhances school climate and relationships among members of the school community. School counselors coordinate parent outreach services, community support services and consultations with other faculty and staff to facilitate collaboration and a greater understanding of students' development needs. Professional school counselors help students at each level meet particular challenges.
Elementary: Elementary is marked by the formation of attitudes about school, self, peers, social groups and family. School counselors help students develop decision making, communication and life training skills; character values; as well as feelings of dignity and self worth.
Middle School/Junior High: Early adolescence is exciting, yet a challenging time for students. Transition is the key word. Through the middle school years, children experience rapid physical and psychological changes, characterized by a search for their own unique identity, need to explore a variety of interests, heavy reliance on friends and peers for comfort, understanding and approval, less reliance on parents and family, extreme sensitivity to comments from others, and high levels of activity coupled with frequent fatigue. School counselors help students make these important transitions.
High School: Adolescence is the final transition into adult hood and the world of work. Students decide who they are, what they do well and what they will do when they graduate from high school. They are searching for a place to belong and need guidance in making concrete decisions. During these crucial years school counselors help adolescents evaluate their strengths, skills and abilities, define their independence and plan for their future.
School counselors are trained to acknowledge and address the developmental needs of adolescents in a proactive fashion by providing prevention and intervention activities, and to assist students and parents with appropriate resources and services. A strong partnership between parents and school counselors is critical to be successful in meeting the challenges of bringing up well-balanced children.