Guidance Lessons: Guidance lessons are an integral part of the elementary school counseling program and important to every student’s academic success. One of the most effective ways for school counselors to help prevent academic problems is by discussing self-esteem issues such as peer relationships, stress, or dealing with feelings and emotions in large group guidance lessons in the classroom. The lessons are preventative in nature, designed to reach all students, and are taught in the classroom regularly by the counselor. This year, I am using the Second Step Curriculum (skills for social and academic success) and Sanford Harmony (to foster communication, connection, and community both in and outside the classroom). These programs teaches empathy, problem solving, anger management and many more skills to all students K-5.
Individual Counseling: Elementary
school counselors are available to meet individually with a student in
circumstances when a student’s educational success is being impacted. The
school counselor spends time working with individual students to improve their
social skills, discuss feelings, and to empower problem solving methods.
Elementary school counselors assist ALL children. While a counselor cannot
provide on-going counseling, it may be appropriate for a student to receive
short-term individual counseling. When more attention and intervention is
required, school counselors can act as a referral agent for parents to access
counseling services within the community. Teachers / staff, parents and self-refer
students can refer for counseling.
Small Group Counseling: The purpose of small group counseling is to complement and enhance students’ learning by improving their perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors. Small group counseling provides a safe setting where children, along with their peers, can increase their self-awareness and improve their cooperation and communication skills. The children can learn from each other. Ultimately, the goal of small group counseling is to prevent problems in the future by teaching children new skills. Every child can benefit from participation in a small group. Students can be invited to join a group by parent request, teacher or counselor suggestion, or by the students themselves.
Collaborate with Teachers and Staff: Both teachers and counselors have similar goals: the educational success of each student. It is important that school counselors collaborate with teachers and administrators to promote student learning. If a student is having problems in a classroom, school counselors will join teachers to come up with some practical strategies which will remove educational barriers and enhance the learning environment of that student.
Consult with Parents: Parents and school counselors speak with each other to help the child/student on a variety of issues such as new school transitions, special needs, family transitions, and crisis situations. Studies have shown that children have greater academic achievement when their parents are involved in their education. Parental involvement is critical to helping a child be a successful student. Both parents and counselors can share information with each other to help meet the needs of the student. Additionally, school counselors can help put parents in touch with community resources, if the need arises.