The Importance of School Counselors

So over the past two or three weeks, a few different issues have come up with our students that have yet again highlighted for me the importance of our school counselors. If you take a step back and look at the weight of their vocation from a balcony view, it is staggering to see the positive scope of influence that can ripple throughout a school community because of their work. I spent the last few days thinking about all that goes into a counselor’s job description, and the affect that a quality counselor can have on the ethos of a school and the learning of its students. It has become clear to me that counselors are very much the mortar that holds a division together, as well as the purveyors of all things right in education. I think it is very easy for most of us to go through the school day and not give much thought to the life altering conversations that continuously take place in their office, or to the young lives that are forever shaped because of their insight and expertise. This week, I want to specifically acknowledge their efforts, and thank them for all that they do for our kids.

I’ve feel extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity over the last three years to work intimately with our own amazing school counselors, as well as the chance to learn deeply about the job through my wife, who recently began her Masters in Counseling back in September. I am constantly impressed and inspired by the amount of knowledge and strategies that they have to keep kids from falling through the cracks, and to get students learning up to their potential. It’s truly mind boggling to think of and see all the different issues, emergencies, and conflicts that they deal with on a daily basis……….and the fact that they continue to be unwavering student advocates throughout it all is ridiculously inspiring. Here’s just a brief and small sample look at what a school counselor has on his/her plate as the school day begins………

  • Individual and small group academic support
  • transition planning (5/6 and 8/9 and 12/College)
  • implementation of advisory program
  • consulting and collaboration with teachers/parents/administration
  • making appropriate referrals to specialists and outside organizations
  • scheduled/unscheduled issues such as abuse, depression, low self esteem, and bullying
  • supporting the extension of gifted and talented students
  • supporting the intervention of struggling students/students with special needs
  • constantly professionally developing themselves through research and reading

I could have easily gone on and on with that list but I think you get my point. Counselors play such an incredibly important role in the development of our students, the ethos and environment of our school, the community and culture of a division, and most importantly….student learning. It’s nice to know that if we face a difficult or unfamiliar situation, or if we need support as professionals dealing with a delicate or complicated issue, we have someone down the hall who can pick us up. I’d like to ask that you go out of your way this week to acknowledge or say thank you to Mark and Rafael for the incredible work that they do every day………it can easily get overlooked and we can easily take them for granted. Counselors change lives for the better everyday, and they emerge from heartbreaking conversations with poise, grace, and hope…and in some instances counselors save lives…….Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other.

Quote of the Week………
It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are – E.E. Cummings

American School Counselor Association Websites:
http://www.schoolcounselor.org/content.asp?contentid=133
http://www.ascanationalmodel.org/

Other Useful Counseling Websites:
http://kidshealth.org/teen/school_jobs/school/school_counselors.html#
http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/curr198.shtml

Article #1 – In Defense of School Counseling
http://www.edutopia.org/school-counseling-importance-of-elias
Article #2 – School Counselors Play Key Role in Kids’ Futures
http://www.bgdailynews.com/news/local/school-counselors-play-key-role-in-kids-futures/article_2c29186e-91aa-11e1-8e85-0019bb2963f4.html
Article #3 – The Importance of School Counseling
http://jenniferveser716.hubpages.com/hub/The-Importance-of-School-Counseling
Article #4 – The Role of School Counselors in Serving Students and Families
http://helpingprofessions.kaplan.edu/articles/early_childhood/role_of_the_school_counselor_in_serving_students_and_families_with_mental_health_issues.html

About Daniel Kerr

Dan Kerr is now Lower School Director at the American School of Paris. He previously served as Intermediate Division Principal at Academia Cotopaxi American International School in Quito, Ecuador, and prior to that was the Middle School Principal at SCIS in Shanghai, China. Dan has also worked at JIS in Jakarta, Indonesia and he began his International career in Abu Dhabi. Dan is thrilled to be joining the ASP family and will be accompanied by his wife, Jocelyn, who will be working as a counselor, and his two children, Max and Gabby. 
This entry was posted in Daniel Kerr. Bookmark the permalink.