Most schools, whether it be traditional brick-and-mortar or online schools, will have school counselors on staff. What you may not know is the role counselors play in your child’s education. These professionals are specifically trained to work with students, parents, and teachers to develop programming, strategies, and guidance to ensure a student’s educational success. By developing strong relationships with students, counselors can play a vital role in helping them navigate high school and their future.
“Counselors are safe, we are the safest people that the kids can go to talk about these things, and there’s no judgment,” says Jessica Lecertua, a counselor administrator. “We’re not going to judge; we’re not going to discipline; we’re just going to be there to support and learn.”
A counselor’s role starts in elementary school, mainly helping parents become accustomed to online learning. It involves a lot of providing tips; strategies, skills for success; and meeting with the students for fun, interactive sessions. Other ways counselors get involved is when students need help developing other lifelong skills like social behaviors, and problem-solving and coping skills.
Career planning has also become a prominent role for school counselors. Gone are the days of asking students, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” because the answers students give to that question might be limited to only what they know at that point. Instead, it’s focused on finding out what students are interested in and passionate about. Through school counselors, students can find resources and opportunities to connect their skills with their passions.
“We’re constantly honing our skills, trying to stay on top of the new careers and the job markets,” says Lecertua. “We can look at assessments, career interest assessments, and evaluate how students reply to those assessments and talk to them about specific career clusters that might work well for them.”
Counselors take the conversation about a student’s future even deeper than just trying to understand their interests. Lecertua says counselors also help students understand the industry outlook for something they are interested in, helping them know what the salary pays, and how to prepare for living costs based on that. Counselors also play a key role in helping students with college applications and applying for financial aid.
To hear more from Lecertua about other ways counselors play a role in children’s educational success, checkout out our podcast K12 On Learning, available wherever you download your podcasts.