By Teachers, For Teachers
As every teacher knows, standing in front of the classroom can feel like an insane one-man-show (or one-woman-show) in which you're juggling far too many concerns and standards for your students. Don't fear, there is help out there!
School couselors are an often under-utilized division of the staff. They are there to support the academic achievement, career development, and personal and social well-being of students.
By outlining the five main ways that school counselors support teachers and students, I hope to help you make the most of the services and staff available to you and reach students on every level.
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 toward a great resource. If you are concerned about a student or even just looking for a new activity to use in the classroom, school counselors can help. I provide consultation to teachers, parents, principals, and other school staff.
Preventative programming educates students about common topics or issues they'll be confronting in their lives and provides them with ways to handle it.
Career Fashion Show Example
My district is 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:
*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 more ways that school counselors can support you and your students. When teachers and school counselors collaborate and work together students greatly benefit.
How do you work with your school counselor to better serve your students? If you're a counselor, what tips do you have for teachers dealing with difficult or troubled students? Share in the comments section!
About the Author:
Danielle is a K-12 Certified School Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, and blogger at School Counselor Blog, a blog where school counselors can share creative lesson plans, innovative ideas and quality resources. You can contact Danielle via email and follow her on twitter.