Helpful Hornets

Counselors and Teachers of Orange County High School

Importance of the Teacher and School Counselor Relationship

It can be easy for teachers and school counselors to work within their own bubbles. However, teachers and school counselors working together is the best way to support students and the school in success. Below are some examples of how teachers and school counselors can draw on each other's strengths to effectively work together.

Reaching Out to School Counselors

1. See the Whole Student

In most cases as a teacher, you see a student for one and a half to two hours a day in the context of your class. The short amount of time you see a student in a day can only give you partial insight to the inner workings of a student. School counselors are available to help teachers see all parts of a student and uncover why a student is struggling. Notifying a school counselor of red flags such as behavior issues and grades is the first step to discovering and rectifying or managing an underlying issue preventing a student from success.

2. Consultation

School counselors are available and willing to consult with teachers in multiple situations. For example, teachers may seek professional advice from school counselors to gain a fresh perspective when traditional strategies are proving to be ineffective. Additionally, school counselors can provide information on student’s specific needs and how as a teacher, you can support a student in overcoming barriers.

3. Collaboration

Collaboration can occur between multiple sets or groups of people within a school including school counselor, student, student’s caregiver(s), teacher, and administrator. For example, when a behavior issue or academic problem arises with a student, a school counselor may arrange and oversee a meeting with the student, student’s caregiver(s), and teacher. Holding a meeting with the student, caregiver(s), teacher allows the opportunity for collaboration to develop solutions.

4. Helping Struggling Students

Providing one-on-one services to individual students is one crucial part of a school counselor’s role. Referring a student to a school counselor for academic, personal, or social/emotional problem is the best way to ensure a student receives individualized support. School counselors can use their training to address the presenting issues and develop solutions which potentially will result in a more engaged and productive student.

5. Classroom Guidance Lessons

Teachers and school counselors can collaborate on classroom guidance lessons in a couple of ways. Both types of collaboration take advantage of a school counselor’s knowledge of student development and mental health and a teacher’s knowledge of their subject and skills as an educator. First, a teacher may notice a certain pattern developing in one or more of their classes, for example, poor stress management, and request a school counselor deliver a classroom guidance lesson on the presenting issue. Second, a school counselor can deliver a lesson on development or mental health that is relevant to the current lesson topic. For example, a school counselor could present on personality types prone to criminal behavior or personality disorders in a criminology class.

How School Counselors Can Support Teachers