Role of a School Counselor
School counselors have many roles. Our primary goal is to promote the personal, social, academic, and emotional development of all students. All counseling activities are designed to provide support and to ensure each child has an educational experience that is positive, contributes to his/her development, and prepares children to be confident, productive, and contributing citizens in the classroom and beyond.
Although school counselors do not provide “therapy”, individual counseling can help promote students’ personal/social development. Issues are wide ranging and can include school attitudes and behaviors, peer relationships, family relationships, school pressure, academic success, etc. Students may be referred to the counselor by teachers, parents, administrators, or self. For a student to see the school counselor on an on-going basis parental permission is required.
Small Group Counseling
Small group counseling is offered to students who share a common concern. In this setting, students can provide support for each other while learning new coping skills and strategies. Group topics can include friendship building, study skills, changing families, and social skills development. Groups may meet weekly or biweekly.
School counselors meet with all students in the classroom to present lessons that are aligned with national and state standards. Results from needs assessments conducted with students, teachers, and parents are helpful with topic selection.
Consultation with parents, teachers, and administrators enable school counselors to work more effectively with students. Counselors welcome the opportunity to meet with parents throughout the school year.
Counselors are involved in providing referrals for students to appropriate professionals in the schools and in the community.
Respecting the privacy of students and their families is a primary responsibility of school counselors. However, there are circumstances when confidentiality must be broken such as abuse and threatening to harm self and others.