Guidance Counselor vs. School Counselor

Tomato, Tom-ah-to

Potato, Pot-ah-to

Let’s not call this thing off.

It may seem silly to get upset over a title. These days though, it’s all in the name.

These days, a ‘guidance counselor’ is a thing of the past.

Recently, I asked several of my Facebook friends to comment on a post regarding a counselor who may have impacted them in a positive way. One of the comments illustrated the perspective many adults these days had of their own ‘guidance counselor’. He “smoked and drank too much coffee and smelled gross. He called me in his office to tell me to NOT cut in the lunch line.”

Counselors’ like Glee’s own Emma illustrate a hand’s off approach, only taking the time to deal with a student’s schedule or handing out awkward brochures. These are the counselors who didn’t collaborate with their fellow educators. These are the counselors who are underutilized, undervalued, and take a reactive stance to situations in their building and school community.

As this week is National School Counseling Week, I felt it was important to address this tragic transgression and to remind you, the community, of the incredible and impactful resource that you have close to hand.

Okay, so the coffee part- that’s still true. But rather than an opportunity to take a break. Coffee serves us the energy required to:

  • Check in with kids who are struggling, who are in the RTI process, who just need a little TLC
  • Visit classrooms and teach character education lessons
  • Meet with teachers and parents for 504 plans
  • Meet consistently with small groups of kids about divorce, deployment, friendship skills, and more
  • Triage crisis situations
  • Create and implement school wide programs to create a positive climate
  • Work with individual students on academics, social and emotional, and personal struggles
  • Collaborate with teachers and adminstrators on a variety of situations and decisions.
  • Prepare students for college and career choices.

The point is there is a lot of work to be done. And school counselors want nothing more than to work with teachers and administration to proactively make a positive difference in our children’s lives. But what it takes is a shift in perspective from those around us. Not just in label, but cognitively as well.

So if you don’t do anything this week at all but one thing- do this. Give them the opportunity and the chance to work for you and your kiddos. Let them collaborate with you on a student who has been struggling.

We can’t do our job without you. Your support. Your advocacy.

Life Vest Inside - Kindness Boomerang - "One Day"
Random Acts of Kindness Resources

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Random Acts of Kindness Week is just around the corner! More information will be coming home as we encourage our students to participate in being kind to others simply because of the impact it can make.
What is the Role of the School Counselor?

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How to Use Your School Counselor

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Need to Contact Mrs. Panariso?

Visit the BLRA Counseling Website for more information and contact details.