School counselors are leaders with a considerable impact on the acceleration and enhancement of learning, from the simplest tasks like setting up student timetables to the more complex ones like administering placements and guiding the academic progress of students.
Counselors for students need strong communication skills so that they can work effectively with school administrators and students.
Interestingly, school counselors have many responsibilities, including student counseling, working with teachers and parents, participating in student welfare programs, and evaluating & improving their own school counseling program.
Today, we will discuss such responsibilities and delve deep into why student counselors are necessary for the school. So, without further ado, let us begin!
Significance Of School Counselors
The role of schools in encouraging children to reach their potential is crucial. Good behavior is highly sought after, yet there are occasions when young people need help developing their character.
Students receive guidance on how to handle emotional turmoil and other problems in their lives through counseling services.
So, proper counseling helps incorporate valuable lessons into their daily life. Here are some reasons why school counselors are necessary. Take a look!
- Counselors in schools help pupils overcome emotional and mental obstacles that get in the way of their schoolwork. Through effective counseling, students can develop certain problem-solving skills which can help them solve issues.
- Counselors advise students on how to cope with different situations they face in their school life. For instance, the guidance to talk politely to their peers will offer them perspectives on behaving in specific scenarios.
- Students can learn to live in peace & harmony with others via proper counseling.
- Counseling bridges the gap between student and school administration.
- Counseling helps shape a student’s behavior and instills enough discipline. Also, with the right direction, counselors are more likely to succeed in their endeavors and be able to advise their students on the best course of action to take.
- Students get comprehensive advice on careers, courses, and respective job prospects, which can help them after school.
- Talks related to alcohol, drugs, abuse, or personal feelings can be openly discussed. Student counseling makes students better human beings and enables them to behave in a particular way.
Traits Of A Student Counselor
School counselors help students, the school administration, and parents. But before any school hires a counselor, they must look for the following traits.
- Listening Skills
Active and effective listening is the most sought-after skill in school counselors. A counselor should be able to listen attentively to teachers, students, parents, and other professionals. They must also listen to the school board. After all, the more the counselors hear, the more they’ll grasp the specific requirements of that institution. Subsequently, they will find the best solutions to the student’s problems.
Moreover, listening can help counselors provide adequate services to students who need extra support in their academic journey. Thus, listening skills are vital because unless a counselor properly listens to the students, they can’t provide appropriate support.
- Ability To Assess
Counselors look for academic, social, and emotional needs when assessing a student. Here’s how they do it:
- Ask students what they need help with. This enables counselors to develop trust and rapport with the students.
- Create a list of questions giving counselors information about what kind of intervention would be appropriate for each student based on their needs & goals.
- Use different assessment tools, like questionnaires, checklists, interviews, etc., when observing students.
- Excellent Communicator
Excellent communicators are invaluable counselors. They listen & communicate with parents, teachers, and students in a way that they understand one another. For a school counselor to be a great communicator, they have to:
- Listen attentively to what parents have to say about their children & relay it back to them.
- Interact with students about issues going on at school, like problems with classwork, bullies, etc.
- Interact with teachers about problems associated with the students at school.
- Academically Qualified
School counselors must have an academic background in education, psychology, or social work. School counseling programs vary nationwide, including courses like classroom organization, crisis intervention services, adolescent development, etc.
To become a school counselor, bachelor’s and master’s degrees are necessary. However, it will be even better if a counselor is a PhD holder. A doctorate will have the skills and experience the school administration requires. Moreover, they can also bring in expertise in many fields more than you can imagine!
- Appreciate Diversity
A school counselor relationship is one where students can talk openly about their feelings, emotions, perspectives, experiences, and much more. Moreover, counselors also help teachers understand the student’s needs so that they can offer a more relevant learning experience for each one of them!
The counselor must be someone who welcomes students and teachers from all walks of life. They should never discriminate in any way and must always make their clients feel comfortable. Unless they accept diverse cultures, it will be hard for them to support students, teachers, and parents.
- Friendly Nature
A friendly face can make a huge difference in a student’s life.
Just think about it:
You have a problem, and the counselor makes you feel comfortable, helps you lighten your mood, listens actively, and offers solutions. Sounds good, right?
Counselors must be there to lighten the student’s burden and guide them towards a better future. Moreover, they must also help students feel secure at school.
So, when counselors listen attentively to the student’s concerns, they can work together to develop answers!
- Coordinating With Other Educators
The school counselor must coordinate with other educators to offer additional services. Moreover, he/ she should work effectively with students & teachers to address their academic needs. In addition, they must also work with their parents and faculty members to foster a sense of community at school.
Thus, coordinating with other educators will ultimately help the students get solutions to their problems, know what they must do after school, and much more!
- Building Relationships
It takes time for a school counselor to build cordial and comfortable relationships with students. However, this process can be easily accelerated through listening and being empathetic.
In order to feel free to talk, the counselor must arrange an ice-breaking session to inculcate trust, comfort, and acceptance. Students need to accept a counselor as their caregiver, someone they can turn to in stressful situations.
So, a counselor who develops this trusting relationship with students can understand the child’s culture and what they care about. This will create an understanding of trust and understanding between students and the counselors.
Counseling students in schools can be a demanding but worthwhile profession. Counselors, on the other hand, need to make time for themselves to prevent burnout. Yet, notwithstanding the challenges they may face, school counselors significantly impact students’ lives by assisting them with personal, academic, and family difficulties.
Interestingly, a school counselor is a vital part of the education team. Thus, if this career field interests you in any way, don’t forget to inculcate the qualities mentioned above. It will help you as well as the students, both personally and professionally!
Tell us in the comments below what traits you have and what traits you intend to acquire for the benefit of the students!