What is a School Counselor?
A school counselor's role is to assist students in developing the necessary knowledge, attitude, and skills in the areas of academic, career, and social developement to become lifelong learners and responsible citizens. School counselors provide bring a mental health perspective to the educational team, and work with parents, teachers, administrators, and students to promote academic achievement and remove barriers to learning. School counseling programs provide education, prevention, and intervention services through classroom lessons, schoolwide initiaitives, small group and individual counseling, and collaboration with team members.
Per the American School Counselor Association, 2017:
Elementary School Students’ Developmental Needs
The elementary years are a time when students begin to develop their academic self-concept and their feelings of competence and confidence as learners. They are beginning to develop decision-making, communication and life skills, as well as character values. It is also a time when students develop and acquire attitudes toward school, self, peers, social groups and family. Comprehensive developmental school counseling programs provide education, prevention and intervention services, which are integrated into all aspects of children’s lives. Early identification and intervention of children’s academic and social/emotional needs is essential in removing barriers to learning and in promoting academic achievement. The knowledge, attitudes and skills students acquire in the areas of academic, career and social development during these elementary years serve as the foundation for future success.
Middle School Students' Developmental Needs
Middle school is an exciting, yet challenging time for students, their parents and teachers. During this passage from childhood to adolescence, middle school students are characterized by a need to explore a variety of interests, connecting their learning in the classroom to its practical application in life and work; high levels of activity coupled with frequent fatigue due to rapid growth; a search for their own unique identity as they begin turning more frequently to peers rather than parents for ideas and affirmation; extreme sensitivity to the comments from others; and heavy reliance on friends to provide comfort, understanding and approval.
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