How Does a Student See the Counselor?
Principal or teacher referral
RtI Team referral
Elementary School Counselor K-6 – Mr. Zach Watters
Elementary School Counselors:
- Teach classroom guidance lessons
- Facilitate short-term small group counseling
- Provide immediate and short-term individual counseling
- Work collaboratively with teachers and staff
- Consult with parents
- Provide information and/or referrals for community resources to families
Guidance lessons are an integral part of the elementary school counseling program and are important to every student’s academic success. One of the most effective ways for counselors to prevent academic problems is by discussing self-esteem issues in large group guidance lessons in the classroom. These issues may include school success, peer relationships, stress, and/or dealing with feelings and emotions. Other topics that may be addressed in these lessons are study skills, coping skills, conflict resolution, decision-making. The lessons are preventative in nature, designed to reach all students, and are taught in the classroom by the counselor on a regular basis.
Small Group Counseling
Small group counseling compliments and enhances students’ learning by improving their perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors. Small group creates a setting where children, along with their peers, can increase their self-awareness and improve their cooperation and communication skills. The goal of small group counseling is to prevent future problems by teaching children new skills. Small group counseling is beneficial to all students as they learn best from their peers. Topics in small group counseling vary by school, but are likely to include friendship making skills, anger management skills, and coping skills. Students can be referred to small group counseling through parent request, teacher or counselor suggestions, and/or by the students themselves.
Note: Students MUST have parent permission to participate in small group. Letters describing the topic of the group sessions, what they are all about, and a permissions slip are sent to parents. The permission slip must be signed and returned before they can participate in a small group.
The school counselor is available to meet with students one-on-one during school hours. Students may seek individual counseling for help with any situation that may be affecting them emotionally, academically, or socially. The counselor spends time working with individual students to improve their social skills, discuss feelings, and to empower problem solving methods. While school counselors are available to meet with all students, it is only on a short-term basis. When more attention or intervention is required, school counselors act as a referral agent for parents to access counseling services within the community.
Collaborate with Teachers and Staff
Teachers, counselors, administrators, and other school staff all have a common goal: the educational success of each student. To ensure that each student is capable of achieving, it is necessary that the school counselor collaborates with teachers, administrators, and other school staff to promote student learning. If a student is struggling in the classroom, whether it be academically or socially, school counselors will work with the teacher to come up with practical strategies which will remove barriers and enhance the learning environment of all students.
Consult with Parents
School counselors work with parents to help the student on a variety of issues. Issues may include family transitions and crisis situations. Parental involvement is critical to helping a child become a successful student. Studies have shown that students have greater academic success when they have parents involved in their education. Parents and counselors can share information with each other to help meet the needs of the student. School counselors are also available to put parents in touch with community resources, if the need arises.