Today is the first day of National School Counseling Week. This is the week to recognize the school counseling program and the people who lead it. In August, I shared a letter to school counselors to encourage them this school year. Today, I want to share a little bit more about how counselors help the school, so you can have a better understanding of what we do.
If you are a school counselor reading this, thank you for everything you do and all of the work you have put in to your program. I believe that we have the best job in the whole school, because our job is to create a program that helps students be more confident, kind, and to reach their full potential.
Parents, if you are like most people that aren’t sure what a school counselor does, check out this list of 25 ways counselors help the school. Then, thank your child’s counselor and let them know how much you appreciate all they do. This is a time to ask questions and learn more about how the program works on your campus.
25 ways counselors help the school
- Teach group lessons about character (kindness, courage, respect, integrity, etc.).
- Find food for families in need on campus.
- Help parents get weather-appropriate clothing for students who need it.
- Be an ear for students, teachers, and parents.
- Help students set academic goals.
- Check-in with students about goals and behavior.
- Facilitate conversations between peers in disagreements.
- Assist teachers with students’ difficult behaviors.
- Create 504 plans to level the playing field for students with disabilities.
- Empower students to think about post-secondary education.
- Hug little ones who are crying.
- High five students for success (even the small ones)
- Encourage children with difficult behaviors by creating behavior improvement plans.
- Help ease the transition of a new student to school.
- Be there for students going through difficult situations.
- Talk with students who are having suicidal thoughts, and find help
- Develop and coordinate programs on campus to help with students needs (Kindness Clubs, Peer Mediation, etc.)
- Dissolve bullying and teasing situations on campus (and off, have you seen social media lately?).
- On that note, teach students how to use social media effectively and appropriately.
- Visit other schools in the district to support during crisis situations.
- Facilitate small groups of students to help with friendship, leadership, social skills and more.
- Advocate for students during ARD meetings
- Continue education by attending training, conferences, and staff developments
- Create lessons to address specific behaviors in a whole group, small group or one-on-one
- Smile- it’s the easiest random act of kindness and one smile can go a long way
This is not a comprehensive list, and duties may vary state to state or district to district.
5 ways you can thank your school counselor this week
- As a class, list why your school counselor is the best
- Ask your child to make a thank you card for their counselor
- Send an email to your child’s counselor letting them know you appreciate them
- Pick up their favorite treat or a flower to surprise them with one day this week
- Encourage your child to tell their counselor thank you with a hug or high five
Thank your school counselor this week for all of the work that they do. It isn’t always easy, but it is extremely rewarding.
What is your favorite part of school counseling or your child’s school counselor/counseling program? Leave me a comment below!