I was recently at a luncheon talking with some elementary school principals about school counselors and an evaluation method they are required to complete yearly on school counselors. The instrument was so complex that they had to attend special training to learn to use it properly. The evaluation emphasized collecting data in order to prove the impact and success of the counselor. One principal commented, “There is so much stress on data collection, the counselor can’t do her job.”
Has technology and data collection taken the heart out of the school counseling system?
In a recent article in Edutopia the question was asked, What does it mean to be a great teacher? Interestingly enough, excels at collecting data or has great test scores was not even on the list. While the six characteristics that were listed might be hard to quantify, they are definitely at the heart of teaching. I’ve modified it a bit for counselors.
Six characteristics of a great counselor
A great counselor is kind– Modeling and teaching kindness is an important part of every lesson and interaction for the school counselor. Many counselors encourage random acts of kindness and encourage students to look for opportunities to pay it forward.
A great counselor is compassionate– Counselors are often called to love those students most difficult to understand and love. Counselors take the time to understand the story behind the behavior and show compassion despite the difficulties.
A great counselor is empathetic– Counselors not only walk in a student’s shoes, they often carry students when they can’t walk on their own. Counselors are a shoulder to cry on and a hand to lift you up when you are down.
A great counselor is positive-While they don’t ignore the challenges, counselors see what is possible for every student and share that vision with them. They are great encouragers and often believe in students when they don’t yet believe in themselves
A great counselor is a builder– Counselors equip children for the future. They don’t leave them where they find them but they teach them the tools for becoming the best they can be. Counselors are relationship builders. They build relationships among students and adults without regard for age or status. They model for others the importance of relationships and how to create positive relationships in their own lives.
A great counselor is inspiring- Counselors inspire with their lessons and their words but they also inspire with their actions. Counselors give direction to students’s lives and provide the necessary guidance needed to achieve goals that seem impossible.
What would you add as a quality of a great counselor?
Wyatt’s Little Book of Lesson Plans, Worksheets and Games
Just for you! Here are activities, lesson plans, discussion questions, coloring sheets, word search puzzles and games for each of the six Wyatt the Wonder Dog Books. A treasure trove of grab ‘n go lessons on cooperation, teamwork and leadership skills to quickly extend and incorporate the Wyatt stories.