School counselors are by far the best resource at hand to channelize their ability to understand not just human behavior but also make sense of cues through body language, facial expressions and when to call out for help, especially in school settings. School counselors are not there to simply tackle student personal issues and problems but can be an effective resource to work collaboratively with teachers as well as parents.
Research has shown that a few of the core reasons for students pursuing school-based counseling were to work towards improving their self-esteem, and confidence, working on their anger issues leading to relationship building. These concerns might be outside the classroom, but very much occupies the child’s mind in class and affects their learning. This is one of the prime areas where teachers and school counselor can collaborate as educators in the industry to help achieve the child’s goals.
Enlisted are ways counselors can support teachers for the bigger goal of achieving the student’s personal goals:
1: Teachers working with counselors gain insight to their students – Reflecting on the bigger picture can allow the teacher to get to the cause of the problem. Counselors can share that little insight within the confidentiality boundaries of a certain child’s behavior and learning pattern in class. Both educators in this manner can reach to an effective way to tackle this problem.
2: Counselors can help teachers with some students struggling – Teachers nowadays have a pigeonhole of insight into their students simply because of the amount of paperwork they are bogged down with. Some students with learning disabilities or any other reasons like PTSD or some sort of anxiety or grief may hold themselves back from performing in class. Counselors can help teachers understand the sensitivity of the situation and can help teachers with resolving academic and personal problems for the students.
3: Every student needs to be dealt with differently – to cater to the child’s diverse needs, teachers, and school counselors can work together to find out more about a specific child’s need and how they may both work effectively with the student. For example, a student suffering from high levels of stress or anxiety; the counselor can help the teacher in recognizing symptoms of anxiety in class and what can be done to manage it.
4: Counselors can be great mentors for students under study stress – If teachers notice anyone of her students emotionally distressed or lost, the counselor can be of immense help in guiding and mentoring. Counselors provide the empathetic ear for students to voice out their worries.
5: Counselors can help students achieve – Research has shown students go to school counselors to achieve any of these 4 groups of goals: Emotional Goals, Interpersonal Goals, Goals targeting specific problems like (anger, eating disorder) and personal growth goals. When teachers keep the school counselors informed of students, counselors can act as a guiding coach in reframing the situation for the child to be able to think rationally.
6: Working collaboratively to design a professional development network – Teachers, counselors, administrators and parents can all work together to discuss student behavior, academic performance and guiding parents on applying certain strategies at home to maintain a healthy and conducive environment for the student.
Student counselor and teachers working collaboratively can work wonders for a child’s development. It shows that their educators have the confidence in him/her to achieve their dreams. This can be achieved with group classroom counseling sessions which prove to be healthy breakout sessions as much as with individual counseling sessions.