Children are a precious asset to a country, and school forms the most important, fragile period of developing their mindset and preparing them for adulthood. They have to deal with many abrupt changes and figure themselves out during this time.
With so much pressure to over-perform and high expectations imposed by society, it’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole of depression and uncertainty. Therefore, to make the lives of both students and school management easier, school counselors occupy a cardinal position.
If you’re thinking of hiring one for your school or planning to do a great service to society by becoming a school counselor yourself, this article explores its benefits. Without further ado, let us get straight to the topic.
Help Students Develop Positive Habits
Growing up is a confusing and undoubtedly challenging part of everyone’s lives. With peer pressure and toxic academic culture added to the mix, a plethora of problems affect the students of today’s day and age. It also makes them more susceptible to self-destructive habits such as substance abuse, violence, or self-harm, thereby sharply deteriorating their performance in school and tipping the scales dangerously towards juvenile delinquency.
When frequent absences and antisocial behavior are considered temporary ‘phases,’ school counseling prevents these risk factors from exacerbating and helps students develop positive habits conducive to their learning.
Identify Hurdles to Progress
School counselors play an integral role in seeing between the lines and identifying problem areas invisible to the student, parent, and institute.
By carefully assessing a student’s needs, they make room for them to open their wings and embark on personal and academic growth. For example, parents might take the reluctance of their kids to go to school or college as a sign of laziness and acting out for no apparent reason. With this perspective, they may fail to see the underlying issues that are hampering their child’s progress, both in their studies and emotional development.
In addition to this, rampant bullying, cyber harassment, and other nuisances may suffocate the child. Parents and the school often turn a blind eye to them, either to save face or not take them seriously at all.
However, a school counselor offers a safe place for the student to vent out their frustrations when they feel they have nobody to rely on or are stuck in a vicious cycle of self-blame. Through professional guidance, maturely dealing with emotional, academic, or even financial stress is what a school counselor aims to inculcate within the student.
Build a Robust Support System
Students, especially those standing at the precipice of adolescence, are not always comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings with friends and family. They are forced to conform to society’s standards of ‘normal’ and lose their individuality in the midst of it.
It becomes a leading cause of depression, anxiety, and even suicidal behavior- a can of worms that most schools don’t want to get involved with. During this turbulent time, school counselors are the light at the end of the tunnel. They endorse mental health awareness amongst students and offer sound solutions to their predicaments. In short, school counselors become a robust support system that the child direly needs.
Furthermore, while a medical professional is more qualified to identify intellectual or developmental impediments such as ADHD and autism, school counselors are no less important in this equation. They, too, can gauge if the child needs a diagnosis, more so when armed with a school counseling degree, exposing them to subjects like psychology and social work.
Aiding the School to Develop Better Practices
Last but not least, school counselors serve as a bridge between the parents, the institute, and the student, adding valuable insight into the student’s personality and behavior to best understand ways of honing them. They aid in devising a curriculum that encourages healthy communication instead of bottling up negative emotions and dealing with conflict to help sow the seeds for stronger, resilient students and citizens tomorrow.
Besides, students may feel afraid to voice their complaints directly to the school management, especially if said management seems unapproachable or sneering. Transfer students can find themselves neglected in the rat race of academics, and racial discrimination can make what should be a new, wonderful time of their life into a highly distressing one. Here, school counselors come to the rescue armed not with a cape but with better teaching techniques and ways to foster an improved school climate.
Handling the most critical years of students is no easy feat. Hence, the school has to shoulder the tremendous responsibility of ensuring their students are not left lagging in their development. A school counselor can smoothen this process and allow the school to better channel its resources in a beneficial way for its students.