• Elementary School Counselor's Role
        Serves as a bridge between home, school, and the community
        Talks with students individually, in small groups, and in classrooms
        Assists teachers and parents in helping children
        Helps in identifying the needs of children
        Provides information to parents about developmental levels of children
        Maintains confidences
        Coordinates school-wide service experiences
    What Do Elementary School Counselors Do?
    Elementary School Students’ Developmental Needs
    The elementary years are a time when students begin to develop their academic self-concept and their feelings of competence and confidence as learners. They are beginning to develop decision-making, communication and life skills, as well as character values. It is also a time when students develop and acquire attitudes toward school, self, peers, social groups and family. Comprehensive developmental school counseling programs provide education, prevention and intervention services, which are integrated into all aspects of children’s lives. Early identification and intervention of children’s academic and personal/social needs is essential in removing barriers to learning and in promoting academic achievement. The knowledge, attitudes and skills that students acquire in the areas of academic, career and personal/social development during these elementary years serve as the foundation for future success.
    Meeting the Challenge
    Elementary school counselors are professional educators with a mental health perspective who understand and respond to the challenges presented by today’s diverse student population. Elementary school counselors don’t work in isolation; rather they are integral to the total educational program. They provide proactive leadership that engages all stakeholders in the delivery of programs and services to help students achieve school success. Professional school counselors align with the school’s mission to support the academic achievement of all students as they prepare for the ever-changing world of the 21st century. This mission is accomplished through the design, development, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive, developmental and systematic school counseling program. The American School Counselor Association’s National Standards in the academic, career, and personal/social domains are the foundation for this work. The ASCA National Model: A Framework For School Counseling Programs (ASCA, 2002), with its data-driven and results-based focus, serves as a guide for today’s school counselor who is uniquely trained to implement this program.
    Elementary School Counselors Implement the Counseling Program by Providing:
    School Guidance Curriculum
    Academic support, including organizational, study and test-taking skills
    Goal setting and decision-making
    Career awareness, exploration and planning
    Education on understanding self and others 
    Peer relationships, coping strategies and effective social skills
    Communication, problem-solving and conflict resolution
    Multicultural/diversity awareness
    Individual Student Planning
    Academic planning
    Goal setting/decision- making
    Education on understanding of self, including strengths and weaknesses
    Transition plans
    Responsive Services
    Individual and small-group counseling
    Individual/family/school crisis intervention
    Conflict resolution
    System Support
    Professional development
    Consultation, collaboration and teaming
    Program management and operation
    Elementary School Counselors Collaborate with:
    Parent education 
    Academic planning 
    College/career awareness programs 
    One-on-one parent conferencing 
    Interpretation of assessment results
    Classroom guidance activities 
    Academic support, including learning style assessment and education to help students succeed academically 
    Classroom speakers 
    At-risk student identification and implementation of interventions to enhance success
    School climate 
    Behavioral management plans 
    School-wide needs assessments 
    Student data and results 
    Student assistance team building
    Peer education 
    Peer support 
    Academic support 
    School climate 
    Leadership development
    Job shadowing, service learning 
    Crisis interventions 
    Parenting classes 
    Support groups 
    Career education
    **These examples are not intended to be all-inclusive
    Elementary school years set the tone for developing the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary for children to become healthy, competent and confident learners. Through a comprehensive developmental school counseling program, school counselors work as a team with the school staff, parents and the community to create a caring climate and atmosphere. By providing education, prevention, early identification and intervention, school counselors can help all children achieve academic success. The professional elementary school counselor holds a master’s degree and required state certification in school counseling. Maintaining certification includes on-going professional development to stay current with education reform and challenges facing today’s students. Professional association membership enhances the school counselor’s knowledge and effectiveness.
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