An Elementary School Counselor is a Specialist:Elementary school counselors are specialists in child growth and development and have a strong background in the behavioral sciences and human relations. They are an intricate part of the elementary school team, including teachers, parents, administrators and students. The school counselor is primarily concerned with the application of developmental principles through counseling, consultation and coordination to enhance school success.
Goals of the Elementary School Counselor:
1. To help children understand themselves and others.
2. To enhance interpersonal skills.
3. To implement a plan for all staff and students to learn, practice and apply conflict resolution skills and strategies.
4. To provide crisis intervention when necessary.
5. To coordinate or facilitate efforts of parents, teachers and administrators.
6. To help develop personalized programs, when applicable, based on each child’s strengths and needs.
7. To provide career education activities.Counselor Services1. Consulting with teachers, parents, administrators and others.2. Empowering students with skills in an effort to resolve conflicts.3. Helping parents understand how to help their children.4. Referring students to outside referral agencies when appropriate.5. Consulting with other school professionals regarding curriculum decisions.6. Explaining test results to help students and parents understand and use the information appropriately.7. Helping students learn responsibility by becoming aware of consequences of their behavior.8. Maintaining a good public relations program.Needs addressed through School Counseling:
Elementary School Counselors work with:
- EARLY INTERVENTION IN PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
- Research in child development shows that children establish lifelong behavioral patterns during ages 6—10, the first four years of school. For this reason, it is critical that counseling services be available during these early years.
- HELPING CHILDREN DEAL WITH SOCIAL PROBLEMS WHICH CONFRONT THEM
- These problems include: drug and alcohol abuse, child abuse, interpersonal relationships and the impact of the changing family.
- EARLY IDENTIFICATION OF SCHOOL PROBLEMS
- Area covered under this category include helping to identify students who need special education services and working with high risk students such as those who experience difficulties with school attendance, poor peer relationships, behavior problems, transiency, work habits and organization.
- FACILITATING CAREER EDUCATION PROGRAMS
- Since attitudes toward work are generally established before the middle school years, the elementary school counselor works with teachers to provide the foundation for further vocational and career choices
Counselors work with students in the classroom, presenting whole group lessons, individually and in small groups. The counseling method differs with the student, situation and need.
Classroom teachers and school counselors support each other’s work through classroom observation, consultation, sharing information and modeling skills through classroom lessons. The teacher and counselor also work closely as members of a team who assist children with academic and behavioral concerns.
Consulting with parents is an important part of the elementary counselor’s job. Counselors may consult with parents regarding their children on a variety of topics, including: discipline and setting appropriate expectations, test interpretation, family responsibility and behavioral management strategies.
OTHER SCHOOL STAFF
Counselors work closely with administrators and other pupil personnel specialists on such areas as discussing student needs and evaluating specific programs.
Qualifications of an Elementary School Counselor
1. Masters degree in Guidance and Counseling from an approved Counselor Education program.
2. Pennsylvania State Certification.
3. Experience in dealing with academic and personal issues with students, staff and parents and the ability to suggest options and solutions to problems.
4. Knowledge about community resources that offer services to meet varying needs.
5. A caring, sensitive person who is responsible and respectful of confidences.Hempfield Area School District Elementary School Counselors: