School counselors play a very important role in the lives of students, making them one of the most respected professionals in the United States. The major work of school counselors is to help students to choose the right courses for the future, make important academic decisions and make plans for the future as well as face the present challenges facing them in school. Although the occupation presents tremendous challenges, it comes with great fulfillment.
School counselors play an important role in providing an in-school support for students. The ideal situation is where the school counselor spends majority of their times in providing academic support to the students. Essentially, they are trained to administer and interpret the career interest tests to students in order to determine where there career interests lies and help them make the correct decisions regarding their future lives. In cases of high school counselors, they may help the students to plan for their post-secondary path. They also provide counselling services for entering into the post-secondary institutions or getting a job. Nonetheless, school counsels often find themselves having to deal with a number of other issues that affect the students including extracurricular activities, relationship advice, personality advice and much more.
At the college level, counselors assist students to choose a career path that they like and prepare them deal with life after college. This includes giving them information on what is required in the job market and guiding them on how to build their careers after college. Some large schools may employ additional stuff to help the school counselor. Such staff can help in administering tests and keeping personal records of all the students in the school.
The other critical role played by the school counselors is the social aspects of students. There are some students who may be struggling with their social lives, having self-esteem issues and suffering from personality issues. It is a widely recognizable fact that students who have issues with their social lives and interpersonal problems cannot perform well academically either. Therefore, it is the work of the school counselor to ensure that the students are guided and those potential problems are spotted and solved before they become major issues.
Counselors may also come in when students are dealing with grief or some other tragic event. School counselors are taught group-counseling techniques, which can help the students, deal with a tragic event.
Problems facing school counselors
According to the estimates by the American Counseling Association, school counselors spend between 10-20% of the time doing non-essential works such as disciplining students, engaging in extra teaching activities and calculating the grade point average instead of just interpreting the grades. This is quite unfortunate because it seems the roles of school counselors are often misunderstood. This may limit the work of the counselor towards offering counseling services to the students.
Having said that, we have seen how important school counselors are to the lives of students. If you want to learn how to become a school counselor, there is a lot of information on the above link, which can help you to understand how to become a school counselor.