"No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure."
The Role of an Elementary School Counselor
For the majority of adults, the word counselor brings to mind someone they saw a few times a year in high school to help them with their class schedules, standardized testing, and college applications. Today, elementary counselors are providing students with comprehensive school counseling programs that are developed in order to help students unlock the keys to school success.
Elementary school is a special time when students develop attitudes about school, family, peers, social groups and self. It is a time when students acquire character values along with communication, decision-making and life training skills. Comprehensive developmental counseling is based on prevention by providing goals that are integrated into all aspects of children's lives.
Elementary School Counselors do...
...work as a team with school staff, parents, and community to create a caring atmosphere whereby children's needs are met through prevention, early identification, and intervention.
...allow for the opportunity for children, parents, and teachers to request services if students are experiencing academic, social, behavioral, or personal difficulties at school.
...provide services including individual & group counseling (which require parent permission for planned programs), classroom guidance lessons, and parent/community & staff consultation.
Three Counseling Domains
In keeping with our current national, state, and county counseling standards, all classroom lessons will be from three main developmental areas:
ACADEMIC: The academic domain includes topics that maximize a student's readiness to learn. It stresses habits of successful students, listening skills, time management, learning styles, and standardized test-taking strategies.
CAREER: The career domain at the elementary level emphasizes self-discovery and awareness of the world of work. Students are encouraged to consider their own likes, strengths, and attitudes and the extent to which those will influence career choices. An exposure to the vast array of career opportunities is also essential when considering one's future choices. The computer program "PAWS in Jobland" is available for student use at school. It is a basic introduction to the world of work and profiles more than 50 careers.
PERSONAL/SOCIAL: The personal domain deals with personal growth and understanding, coping strategies, dealing with emotions, self-control, problem-solving, and goal setting. The social domain deals with interactions the student has with others. Violence/Bullying prevention and assertiveness training are important components, as well as friendship skills, conflict resolution, problem-solving, working in small and larger groups, and leadership skills.
Elementary School Counselors do not...
...provide long-term counseling or psychotherapy. We DO have referral information concerning outside counseling services.
...scrutinize or change students' religious beliefs, cultural values, or family values. School counselors actually promote parent-child communication, support diversity, and encourage empathy for all.
...prioritize counseling over instructions (unless the student is in crisis to the extent that he/she is unable to do school work).