School counselors are an integral part of the school system and they are
there to help bridge the gap between parents, students, teachers and administrators.
They hold an absolutely essential position in each school that is all
too often taken for granted and, while the recommended ration of school
counselors is 1:250, it’s closer to 1:500 in reality. School counseling
has become a sophisticated role and most counselors are Master’s-level
professionals with specific training in dealing with the social and behavioral
issues students experience.
What do school counselors do?
School counselors are there to resolve conflicts between students and teachers
and between students on a one-to-one bases.
They work with teachers and administrators to counsel students on specific
social or behavioral issues they are having and how to best resolve them.
Student appraisals are also a responsibility and they are tasked with determining
student’s suitability for various programs.
Counselors must help students who are sports-oriented to balance their
extra mural activities with the grades they need to move on to college.
School counselors are a wonderful resource for parents and they can help
with everything from child development to specific behavioral problems.
They also help parents understand new curriculum demands and how to get
involved with their child’s school and homework.
Counselors are responsible for creating and implementing the anti-bullying
policy at each school. Here they work with students, parents and administrators
to ensure a safe, healthy environment at each school.
School counselors focus on career development by helping students to find
a career path that suits them and the courses and grades they need to
pursue their dream jobs.
Counselors also help with the college application process and with any
referrals which may be required.
They may also be part of health education and have responsibilities to
teach students about important issues like drug and alcohol abuse and
other health issues.
In many schools, counselors also serve as test coordinators which mean
that regular counseling services are not available to students at a time
when they feel most stressed. With mental health becoming an increasingly
important concern, it may be time to lend more support and funding to
How to support your school counselors
American School Counselor’s Association outlines which duties are appropriate to assign to counselors. If your
school counselors have too many duties, petition your school to free up
some of their time so that they can pay individual attention to students in need.
Support your student counselors’ recommendations for programs and
improvements to the schools structure that will make your school happier
If your school doesn’t have enough counselors to adequately support
the student body, find ways to raise funds or petition for more counselors.
Show your appreciation for the role that counselors play and use the services
they offer to better navigate the academic and social processes that are
part of school life.
pic by US Department of Education