Counselors and Teachers of Orange County High School
Importance of the Teacher and School Counselor Relationship
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.
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.
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.