What does an elementary counselor do?

For many people the word counselor brings to mind someone they saw a few times in high school to help them with their class schedules, testing, college applications, and discipline.  Elementary counselors are responding to today’s needs by providing children with comprehensive and developmental school counseling programs.

Elementary school years are the foundation for developing the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for our children to become healthy, productive adults.  Within a comprehensive developmental guidance and counseling program, counselors work as a team with educators, parents, and community members to create a caring atmosphere whereby children’s needs are met through prevention, early identification, and intervention.

More specifically, an elementary counselor:

· Implements effective classroom guidance programs focusing on understanding of self and others; coping strategies; peer relationships and effective social skills; communication, problem solving, decision-making and conflict resolution; goal setting and study skills; career awareness and the world of work and personal safety.

· Provides individual and small group counseling dealing with self image and self esteem; personal adjustment; family issues; interpersonal concerns; academic development; peer facilitation and peer mediation.

· Helps students to identify their skills, abilities, achievements and interests through counseling and guidance activities.

· Develops students’ career awareness as a lifelong process of forming basic values, attitudes, and interests regarding their future world of work.

· Coordinates school, community and outside resources for school wide guidance related activities and extracurricular programs, which promote students’ personal growth and skill development.

· Consults with teachers, staff, administrators, school psychologists, social service agencies and other mental health professionals concerning the welfare of students (often providing referrals for families to other agencies).

· Communicates and exchanges information with families regarding student progress.