Our school district sent out a survey recently about school counselors. It asked questions about parents’ and students’ experiences with their school counselors in an effort to improve their services and systems. I was very glad to see that there is a focus on this part of the school system that is too often overlooked. And while we have not had much direct experience with the school counselors yet (since my son is only in Kindergarten), I am glad to know that those resources are there to support him throughout his education.
When I was in high school, I felt like the school counselors were forgotten about until it was time to administer a test or apply to college. I am glad to be seeing a shift within the school system that values the emotional and social development of children, and therefore, values the school counselors that are there to support that development. School counselors go through significant training to help students cope with a wide range of issues including crisis and trauma type situations.
Elementary School Counselors
I often say that while I want my son to be improving academically, it is more important to me that he enjoys the process of learning itself. I want him to enjoy school and grow as a well-rounded child throughout his experience. School counselors can be a big part of this growth – even at the elementary school level.
Elementary school counselors…
- Help students with organizational and learning skills
- Help students better understand themselves
- Help students with peer relationships
- Help students learn and utilize coping strategies
- Help students communicate with their teachers and peers
- Help students who may need other services put in place
- Help students and their families who may need extra support
- Help students by being an advocate within the school system
- And more…
Impact of School Counselors
As your child grows, their educational and emotional needs shift. And luckily, school counselors are well-prepared for each stage of a student’s development. NYU’s new online master’s in school counseling program has created a great infographic – School Counselors: The Key to Student Success – that highlights the impact that school counselors can have in students’ lives. You can view the full infographic below, but my favorite segment is related to the social-emotional development of students of all ages.
School counselors have the ability to lead programs that improve the following areas:
- Cognition – Improving learning strategies
- Attitude – Supporting a healthy sense of self-confidence
- Self-Regulation – Helping students manage their anxiety, anger, motivation, and attention
- Behavior – Creating goals and monitoring progress of individual students
- Social – Building a classroom environment that is supportive and encouraging
I would encourage you to speak with your school and educate yourself on the programs, support services, and options available to your student through the school counselors. Make sure that you are fully utilizing this great resource so that your student receives a well-rounded education and a positive school experience.