Five Ways School Counselors Can Support You and Your Students
School counselors support the academic achievement, career development, and personal/social well-being of students. There are five main ways that school counselors support teachers and students: consultation, preventative programming, classroom guidance, group counseling for students, and individual counseling for students.
School counselors have a wealth of knowledge about a variety of topics. Chances are, if you have a question, a school counselor can provide you with an answer or point you towards a great resource. If you are concerned about a student or even just looking for a new activity use in the classroom, school counselors can help. I provide consultation to teachers, parents, principals, and other school staff.
Preventative programming educates students about the topic or issue and provides them with ways to handle it. For example, for my district, we are planning a career week to prepare 8th grade students for their transition to 9th grade and beyond. We are hosting speakers about a variety of career topics and students are participating in a “Reality Check” simulation about education and income level. For our culminating event, students and parents will be invited to a career fashion show demonstrating appropriate attire for interviews and the workplace.
School counselors can facilitate classroom guidance lessons about a myriad of topics for you and your students. I have facilitated classroom guidance lessons in classrooms and co-taught lessons with teachers. I have facilitated classroom lessons on career development, diversity, bullying, cooperation, rumors, and many more topics. School counselors can plan lessons with teachers in advance or facilitate lessons based on teacher or student need. Classroom guidance lessons are also a great way for your students to connect with the school counselor and build relationships.
When there are multiple students experiencing similar problem or issue, it can be helpful for them to be in a counseling group together. Group counseling helps students build relationships and feel that they are not alone in their experiences. I have run groups on a variety of topics including children experiencing parental incarceration and anger management.
School counselors use many different mediums to work with students in individual sessions. In my individual sessions with students, I allow students to draw, write, sing, play, or just talk. I encourage students to do whatever they need to do, whether it is drawing or shooting hoops while talking. Sometimes we work on learning a specific skill such as deep breathing for anxiety. Other times we work on role-playing situations with puppets, such as a problem with a friend.
There are many ways that school counselors can support you and your students. When teachers and school counselors collaborate and work together students greatly benefit.
Danielle is a K-12 Certified School Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, and blogger at School Counselor Blog, a place where school counselors share innovative ideas, creative lesson plans, and quality resources.
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