Point of View: School Counselor or School Counseling Program?
I am on several listserves for school counselors where on occasion there is a comment that questions the need for proof of a school counselor's activities. As a school counselor myself, I understand and can sympathize. However, if we keep thinking in such a manner, I ask, will your professional practice be in jeopardy and substituted for another role? Remember that often our stakeholders do not understand our roles as school counselors in comparison to other professionals. So, reflect and change perspectives!
Let's begin by thinking about how you view your profession. Ask yourself: are you thinking about your performance in the position all the time or the delivery of the school counseling program? The essence of the ego, the you, immediately takes over and you most likely answered by saying: "I am a great school counselor!" Sure you are otherwise you would not be in the position your are in! Review your written observations, see the positive feedback given by the administrators, parents and students. Does it look great? So now we can move on!
The real focus should be on the program. Lessons, activities, individual meetings, collaboration, coordination, and all of the areas that are part of the comprehensive school counseling program. Do you have a school counseling curriculum map, or calendar? Do you have a lesson plan for each activity? Who knows what activities are delivered and how do they know? I could go on and on with lots of questions related to the program!
As a school counselor and current administrator for the K12 school counseling department, I am looking at promoting the delivery system and its impact on student academic, social/emotional, and college/career readiness skills. Teachers show how students learned and if students did not learn, a response to intervention strategy may be added. So how do school counselors measure student learning?
It is a change of perspective, philosophy and belief. A school counseling program becomes preventive rather than reactive. Lessons are revisited for new ideas and understanding as opposed to recurring activities that nobody understands why it is still in place. So, if I could offer one advice, take a few minutes, identify all of the lessons you deliver, and ask yourself: how do I know students are learning the idea? Do they use it at home or on the playground or bus? Do the parents hear about the topics in order to reinforce it at home? If the answer is No or I am unsure, then time to change!
If you still are reconsidering, take a moment to see this 3 minute video that can help you make a change from ego to program. I challenge you to do so and see the ongoing respect and smile you will earn as a school counselor!
Try Something New
Try out for 30 days:
* Demo request to use www.schoolcounselorcentral.com
* Write a school counseling curriculum map
* Try out writing a Student Personnel Accountability Report Card - SPARC
* Create a video on the results of the school counseling lessons
* Videotape a presentation and add it to the school counseling program website
....so many more ideas! What will you try out?