As a parent of a child studying in school, you may remember an authority figure who offered grief support and counseling services to any student willing to attend. You might have ignored that person then, but the student counselor is an important role in the school environment who can help you and your child through numerous means during their academic life.
The responsibility of a school counselor is to provide support and guidance to students who are experiencing stressful and difficult situations. These situations may range from dealing with trauma to college applications. Hence, a school counselor’s job is to help students with their social and academic lives. Now that your ears are perked up, let us discuss different ways that a school counselor helps students.
Academic counselors play a very significant role as far as inclusive educational institutions are concerned. They need to work very closely with special school children, administrators, and parents, in order to guide and decide upon what is best for the children. They counsel, guide, and help special children take day-to-day decisions and participate in activities that allow for their growth and learning.
1. Solve Behavior Problems
Being a teenager’s parent, you must be very well aware of behavioral problems. These behavioral issues cause problems in the academic life of the student as well as their personal life. They affect their relationship with parents, peers, and other authority figures.
Often, these issues have an underlying cause such as emotional imbalance, mental health problems, problems in their social life, academic issues, or even just boredom. In that case, school counselors have the responsibility to help the parents and the student resolve these behavior problems. The course of action, in this case, is that the counselor meets up with the student in a one-on-one meeting to try and dig up the root cause of these issues. If needed, they can also arrange group sessions with teachers, peers, or parents to figure out different intervention methods that can help solve this issue.
Also, using a feelings poster can help students identify their emotions. This helps students process their feelings, which lessens behavior problems and outbursts. Students of all ages can benefit from this process.
2. Advocate for Students
We all have known times when it felt like the teacher or some other authority figure in the school had it out for us. In those times, you just needed someone who could step up and reason with those individuals and solve the issue. If you didn’t know before, school counselors are responsible for advocating for students in front of teachers, principals, and sometimes, even parents.
For example, if a child is going through some crisis or trauma, it is given that their behavior and mental state won’t be in the best condition for a while. In that case, the school counselor’s responsibility is to inform concerned authority figures such as the principal or teachers about the situation and help make an accommodating environment for the student.
Counselors also stand up for students if they see any unfair treatment or marginalization of the student due to their language, color, race, religion, ethnicity, or disability.
3. Resolve Conflict
While advocating for a student and helping them deal with behavioral issues are all important tasks, most of the work routine of a school counselor consists of conflict resolution. Students, essentially, are just kids who fight at the littlest matters, and sometimes these conflicts can get out of hand. In that case, it is the school counselor’s responsibility to keep the Conflict from escalating and try to settle down the matter without having to involve parents and guardians.
Similarly, if you notice that your child is part of some conflict, try contacting the school counselor before involving the Principal and other parties. You may find that the counselor can handle the matter very well, ensuring the best possible outcome for the situation.
4. Academic Assistance
School counselors are not limited to grief coping and conflict resolution only. They operate in a school environment because their main responsibility is to help the students excel academically.
Their responsibilities include accommodating students who have difficulty in learning and helping them find the best ways to excel academically. Their guidance can range from how the student can get into the college of their dream to how the student must organize their books.
Additionally, school counselors may involve parents and guardians in the situation and set up a meeting with teachers to determine the best intervention method.
5. Listen to Problems
It’s important to understand that school counselors cannot be mistaken for a therapist. School counselors are trained to deal with different issues that stem from an academic and home environment.
Sometimes, students cannot perform well academically because they are distracted by other issues. These issues are hogging their attention, and only venting about these issues and some guidance can help them concentrate once again. In that case, it is the responsibility of a school counselor to guide their students and listen to their problems in various settings.
If we look at the job description of a school counselor on the surface, then their responsibility is only to help the student academically and help them find a job or apply to college. However, if you investigate a little deeper, you will understand that the responsibilities of a school counselor are much more complex. To properly guide young minds, they need to understand psychology, human behavior, cultural and social dynamics, career development, etc. Therefore, the role of a school counselor is crucial in an academic environment for the sake of the students and their parents.