Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Role of a School Counselor: The Support We Provide

Support Systems
An important factor in being an effective school counselor is having a strong mutual support system between the community, the school district, colleagues, parents and most importantly a support for all students.  A school counselor must be able to understand and be aware of the of a student’s need both inside and outside of school in order to facilitate a supportive environment.  Two key support systems that positively impact a school counselor’s role while also addressing student needs is to providing support colleagues in the building and a student’s parents/guardians.

Support to Colleagues
School counselors not only have an obligation to the students they serve in their school, but also to the colleagues in their building and district.  School counselors have a large and impactful role in a school that can at times be overwhelming. School counselors are faced with many ethical dilemmas that may not have a clear-cut answer. During these times, it’s important for school counselors to rely on their team and reach out for help. Each colleague has a wealth of information and can offer insight and new perspectives on situations. All school counselors come into the profession with their own level of knowledge and expertise. Individually school counselors may feel like they have to be the expert on all situations and may feel inadequate if they are not able to provide a solution. Collectively however, school counselors can combine their knowledge and resources to support their students. Creating a collaborative environment that is centered on teamwork will build a caring and welcoming atmosphere modeling the behavior they expect from their students.

Support to Guardians/Parents

Parents and guardians are the guiding voice in their child’s lives and it’s important for school counselors to understand the importance of parent involvement. When a school counselor provides support to parents it has a positive effect on the relationship between the child and parent. Support to parents/guardians can range from one-on-one sessions, parenting workshops and school assemblies. When parents are provided the resources they need to become more involved parents, school counselors may see the improvement of a student’s well-being. Parents, just as much as students, need support from staff at the school. Depending on the needs of the community, workshops for parents could range from awareness of social media trends to understanding how parents can become more involved in school activities. School counselors can bring in outside resources and experts to speak with the parents during workshops. The most important aspect of parenting workshops is to help the parents/guardians become enthusiastic about their child’s education. When parents feel more confident and involved with their child’s education the child will likely emulate the same emotions.

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