The mental health of students plays a major role in their academic excellence. Schools ought to ensure that the students are mentally healthy. Counselors work to support struggling students and to help students with mental health issues by providing counseling services in schools. Thus, it is necessary to hire a counselor in schools to keep the mental health of students in check. In a school, students will be from different backgrounds and these differences can have a negative impact on students’ behavior. Lack of confidence, stage fright, unruly behavior, etc can come out of these differences.
Counselors also provide parenting advice. They can play a major role in the school environment by teaching other staff members how to handle difficult situations, such as bullying, mental health problems of students and teachers, and so on.
Counselors have the same job title, but different responsibilities at different schools and in different states. Some counselors may only work with students, while others may also provide support to teachers or staff members.
Counseling is a broad term, which can refer to psychological counseling, mental health counseling, child development counseling, etc. Counselors should all be trained in the same way to ensure that they provide services that are effective and appropriate for children and adolescents.
A number of research papers have shown that the presence of a counselor in schools can have a significant impact on the academic performance of students. A counselor has the unique power to make a real difference in the lives of young people.
Key Roles of a School Counselor
School counselors should not leave any stone unturned when it comes to ensuring that each student receives the necessary attention and support they need. Given this responsibility, it’s important that school counselors take a step back from time to time and reflect on everything they do as a counselor. The good news is that there are plenty of ways for school counselors to become more aware of everything they do as a counselor and how their actions can positively impact the lives of the students with whom they work daily. Therefore, counselors play a key role in a student's life. Here are some major roles that counselors are expected to play in schools.
Ensuring Academic Excellence
Academic assistance, counseling, and advice are things that school counselors are expected to give to the children in their care. They are an essential component of the educational environment, but they are not the only ones that offer academic support and counseling. Sometimes, the task of making sure that children are getting all the required academic support falls under the purview of school counselors. Counselors should also provide support and guidance to students with behavioral issues who may also be struggling academically.
Keep Track of Students
It is of paramount importance that as a school counselor you keep a close eye on your students’ academic records. This can help you spot any patterns in students’ academic struggles. However, while keeping track of students' academic records can help you identify issues in your students’ academic performances, it can also highlight factors in their lives that you may not be aware of. You may also want to keep track of their social interactions and friendships to understand them in a better way and how students are progressing outside of the classroom.
Boost their Confidence
Being confident can be difficult for students who are having academic difficulties. Due to the lack of confidence, it may be challenging to muster the courage to explore new things and take chances. Counselors can encourage your students to have greater faith in their intellectual ability. They can try to build a strong relationship with students and create a welcoming atmosphere for learning.
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Monitor the Progress
Counselors regularly follow up with the academic performance of students to assess their progress. You can spot any problems with their academic performance via a counselor. Even though monitoring your students' academic progress is essential, counselors also monitor their behavior outside of the classroom. They also analyze the way students are resolving conflicts and interacting with their social circles outside of the classroom.
Communicate with Parents
Many school counselors choose to keep in regular contact with their parents. It is important that counselors maintain regular contact with them. This helps counselors to understand the students in a broader sense. For instance, if some financial issues that a student’s parents are facing is affecting that child’s academic performance, you will understand this through the interaction with parents. Essentially it would help the school counselors to identify any issues in your students’ social lives that may be affecting their academic performances.
School counselors are not just there to provide extra academic help to struggling students. They’re there to provide support, guidance, and counseling for all of the students in the school community. School counselors have a great impact on all of the students in their care. School counselors should not leave any stone unturned when it comes to ensuring that each student receives the necessary attention and support they need. Given this responsibility, it’s important that school counselors take a step back from time to time and reflect on everything they do as a counselor. The good news is that there are plenty of ways for school counselors to become more aware of everything they do as a counselor and how their actions can positively impact the lives of the students with whom they work daily.
Suggested Read - Importance of Mental Health Awareness in School