Are you wondering how to become a school counselor? . The role a school counsellor plays is vital throughout a child’s school life, from elementary school right through to university. They will positively impact the lives fo the students who rely on them and help them reach their potential.
The role of a guidance counsellor is to be a mentor and guide to the young minds in their care. Schools are filled with students with different needs, personalities and interests, and their feet will need to be set on a huge variety of paths to future happiness. A compassionate professional working with them as student advocate will assist them in setting achievable goals, maintaining the strategies necessary to achieve them and developing the toolkit needed for their future success.
School counsellors will mostly work one-on-one with students with assessments that pinpoint their strengths and address their weaknesses. However, group therapies will occasionally be required, especially grief counselling in the wake of traumas. Elementary level students will need monitoring for signs of abuse or neglect, where older students may need counselling for the many pitfalls of growing up. It’s a career in which you can take great pride, but it isn’t for everyone.
Obviously, the majority of school counsellors work through various academic facilities. As mentioned above, they can span a wide range of age groups, depending on your specific interests- elementary school features mostly work with behavioral issues, health and safety. Middle School counsellors work on guiding students through the sticky transition from youth to young adult. High school counsellors focus on academic and goal planning for the students, with jobs, studying and career decisions. At college level, you’ll also assist with career selection, jobs and résumés and interviewing skills.
Academically, expect to hold at least a master’s degree, and you will need extensive experience hours to pass the essential state licensing and certification. Background checks are conducted. People interested in working in this demanding field should have great listening and communication skills- both written and oral- be detail orientated, critically thinking and well organised as detailed recordkeeping will be necessary. You will be held to immensely high ethical standards with serious legal responsibilities, and must have the ability to tread carefully in delicate situations that also have to potential for danger. Compassion, understanding and an interest in children of the age group are a must. The work you do may literally effect the future life of the children in your care.
There is a diverse band of salary potential for counsellors at the school level, ranging from $35,210 to $60,000. It will be effected by the level of student you’re teaching, where you work and your own counselling experience. It’s a field that’s seeing great expansion at the moment and is set to keep expanding through the decade.
School counsellors will leave a profound mark on the lives they touch, and it is an incredibly rewarding experience.