8 Ways School Counselors Make A Difference

A teacher is teaching students in the class
Photo by National Cancer Institute on unsplash

Thinking back to your adolescent stage, you may recall a few interactions with a school counselor. If not, you may be a parent of a child working with one.

However, this does not mean that seeing a school counselor automatically wins one the "negative impact on others" tag. Instead, it shows one's human side, whether a child, a young adult, or a parent, seeking to outdo their demons and do well despite their challenges.

Thus, through this article, we want to convince you why school counselors are important and show you the ten ways they can make a difference in a child or parent's life. So, hang tight and read through to the conclusion.

1. Guide Students in Decision-Making

There are situations where students may repeatedly behave badly in class due to influence from bad friends or family problems they may be experiencing at home. In such circumstances, most teachers decide to take matters into their own hands and punish the student, not knowing it will be a temporary solution.

However, the expertise of a school counselor can turn out to be a permanent fix. They help students, through school counseling lessons, work on their decision-making techniques by reframing the situations they may be experiencing. They also show students how the various behaviors they are portraying may be in their best interests, thus turning the negative side into a positive one.

2. Offer Academic Support

The academic territory has been known to belong to teachers for many years. But did you know that a school counselor can also provide academic aid for students? Yes, they sure can, and this is one of the main reasons that most schools nowadays charge school counselors with the responsibility of improving students' academic performances.

Upon meeting with students struggling with their school work, school counselors stand out as the lacking link between the parents, students, and teachers, helping them spot the root of the problem and develop solutions. They also help create an environment that promotes academic integrity and inspires students to develop good study habits.

3. Act as an Empathic Listener to Students

At some point in life, students need someone who can at least listen to their problems and help them find solutions. Whether the problems are silly, unimportant, personal, or sensitive, they can still make them do things that do not align with school rules and conduct.

Therefore, showing them that there is a caring and listening person before things worsen is key. School counselors excel in this field as they offer such students an empathic ear to listen to all the issues they face and help them find effective solutions.           

4. Improve School Environment

In recent years, the quality of the school environment has been threatened by obstacles like bullying and violence, impacting students who are directly or indirectly involved. This has even been supported by past research from the National Center for Education Statistics that revealed roughly 25% of students in grades 6 through 12 have been a target of bullying. 

However, school counselors have played a tremendous role in fighting this trend. The school counseling lessons they offered impacted students positively, ensuring a favorable school environment for all students. They also crafted policies that promoted educational development and acknowledged students' accomplishments to enhance the climate.

5. Help Students Develop Socially

Navigating social scenarios for high school students can be challenging, especially with the growth of technology. However, school counselors can effectively help these students maneuver through tough social encounters in ways that parents and teachers cannot.

They are trained to counsel, listen, and offer unbiased feedback and support to suffering students. Thus, this places them in an ideal position that positively impacts those struggling with dating, gossip, or other common issues that high school students struggle with.

6. Help Prepare Students for Life After School

School counselors wear a thousand hats, but perhaps one of their key duties is helping students prepare for their life after school, especially the high school phase. Whether a student is planning on attending college or joining the workforce, be sure a school counselor will be there to offer support and guidance to them so that at the end of the day, they make a well-informed decision on their future.

7. Promote Cultural Competency and DEI

A key part of developing a cohesive community is establishing an environment that acknowledges diversity, equity, and inclusion(DEI) and promotes cultural competency. School counselors play a vital role by spotting students needing extra support and articulating DEI initiatives to encourage a level education field for all.

8. Provide Parental Support

We all know that school life is tough for our kids, but as parents, we must also deal with the changes it brings. From waking up early to prepare the children for school to attending academic and parent meetings on weekdays, school life never improves.

But seeing a school counselor can be our point of difference. They can provide us with strategies to adopt to aid in fostering our connection with our children and help enhance their academic performance. They can also help us iron out our other issues by advising on effective solutions like family therapy. Overall, school counselors are the perfect go-to option if you are seeking parental support.

Conclusion

The role played by school counselors has grown to an extent it must always be addressed. They have made differences in their students' lives that only one can imagine. Their job descriptions have been associated with helping students transition into various phases of life but also equipping parents with the necessary tools to help them cope with these changes.

Thus, it is time that we all advocate for the inclusion of a school counselor into the education team as their relevance grows as years pass by. 

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