Are you an individual who has a love for children, but doesn’t really have the desire to be a teacher? Do you have compassion and sensitivity for children who live their life dealing with issues that they have little or no control over? Do you hope to work in a capacity that will allow you to make a difference among youth and adolescents so that they may be able to break out of the cycle that they function within on a daily basis? If you answered yes to each of these career focused questions, then a career as a school counselor may be just the perfect fit for you! Continue reading to determine if this is indeed a career path that would be fulfilling to you.
As a school counselor (who is sometimes also an educator) you will be able to work in an elementary school setting, a middle school setting, or within a high school to help students in a variety of areas. For instance, you may help high school students prepare for college in reference to standardized test scores, high school grades, or college entrance applications. Depending upon your place of employment you will likely also be responsible for counseling students who have a specific type of issue or difficulty that they are trying to work through.
Often, a particular issue may be interfering with the student’s ability to academically perform up to his or her potential; you will be required to intervene and help the student in this aspect, also. No matter what your specific job responsibilities may be, it is important to note that individuals in this job capacity are no longer referred to as guidance counselors or educational counselors. It may also be possible for you to become employed as a post-secondary school counselor. In this position, you would help students who are ready to enter college with program coordination, college readiness, and possibly even career counseling. Keep in mind, in order to practice as a school counselor you must have completed your bachelor's in school counseling.
In your position as a school counselor it will be common for you to design and implement a counseling program that works to promote and increase student achievement. You should also expect to be required to focus a large amount of your time on developmental stages of student growth. This consists of the many needs, the tasks, and the interests of the students as they relate to each developmental stage. In your work as a school counselor it will be important that you can adequately address the three domains: career development, academic development, and personal and social development. Each of these domains should be developed through the appropriate use of classroom instruction, consultation, appraisal, counseling, coordination, and collaboration.
For instance, you may choose to use different career assessment methods or personality tests so that you will be able to help your students in an effective manner. Although you will primarily be working one on one with the students you are counseling, there will also be situations that will require you to conduct group counseling sessions. In addition, you may also find it beneficial to provide counseling services to the family members of the student who you have been working with. As a school counselor, it will likely be your responsibility to provide programs that will help to educate students about a specific matter. For instance, you may invite an outside group to speak to a student body about bullying, drugs, or child abuse.