K-5th Counseling Services

ROLE OF AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL COUNSELOR    

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The Thomas B. Conley
 Elementary School Counselor is committed to engaging and supporting all students in learning.  This is exemplified daily by the counselor efforts to create learning environments that promote student autonomy, interaction, competence and choice.  A school counselor is aware of the diverse needs of elementary students and uses all possible resources to meet this diversity including making reasonable accommodations for individual cognitive, physical, emotional and social needs.  As an educator and child advocate, the school counselor views every student has the capacity to learn. In addition, the teacher’s support this belief by promoting high standards of learning for all and communicating these standards to all their students.

The role of an elementary counselor consists of many different daily activities. Our school counselor, Mrs. Rutledge works closely with parents, teachers, school administrators and other professionals to provide students with the best possible resources and services.  The counselor counsels, and is a helper, a listener, and a friend.  Mrs. Rutledge identifies herself with the students as their "helping friend."

 
Mrs. Rutledge helps coordinate school, community, and business resources to support school- wide guidance related activities. Classroom guidance lessons focus on character education, peer relationships, social skills, decision making, care for self and others, substance education, multicultural awareness, conflict resolution, problem solving and a understanding of self and others. Lessons in character are a unified approach that leads to a commitment to character development both at home and at school. Also, the counselor provides assessment by helping students and their parents identify their skills, abilities, achievements, and interests through counseling activities and interpretation of standardized test scores. The counselor may administer or suggest assessment tools to help determine the need for special services.

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School Counselor's Goals:

 

  • To help children understand themselves and others and their role on the family, neighborhood, and school.
  • To prevent problems from developing through preventive counseling programs that stress early detection of learning and social adjustment problems.
  • To help children with special needs.
  • To develop personalized programs based on each child's abilities, strengths, weaknesses, emotional and intellectual needs.
  • To provide crisis intervention when disputes with peers or teachers, personal problems, family difficulties or other situations make a child unhappy.
  • To coordinate or facilitate efforts of others (social workers, psychologists, community agencies, etc.) with those of parents, teachers, and administrators

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Counselors Are...

 

When working with a child or a parent, counselors are people...

  • who really care
  • who listen
  • who don't judge or find fault
  • who see the whole child
  • who believe feelings matter
  • who are well attuned to the child's developmental level
  • who respect differences
  • who cherish diversity
  • who believe in confidentiality except in cases where it must be broken when a child threatens to hurt himself or others or when he tells that he has been hurt or abused
  • who interpret test scores
  • who help children deal with
    • stress
    • academic concerns
    • relationship concerns
    • physical/sexual/emotional abuse
    • grief, divorce/dying/loss
    • substance abuse
    • family issues
    • suicide/depression
    • behavior adjustment
    • self-esteem
    • anger/conflict management

 

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Standards for the Elementary School Counselor

 

1. Creating and maintaining effective environments for student learning.

  • Establishing a climate that promotes caring and positive relationships, fairness and respect, social development and responsibility.
  • Establishing a climate that affirms individuality and diversity.
  • Establishing a climate that promotes responsibility.
  • Establishing and maintaining standards for student behaviors.
  • Planning and implementing classroom procedures and routines that support student learning.
  • Creating and maintaining a physical environment that engages all students and is conducive to learning.

2. Demonstrating knowledge of the content they teach and knowledge of best teaching practices for student learning.

  • Demonstrating knowledge of subject matter content in designing effective learning experiences.
  • Demonstrating knowledge of student development in designing effective learning experiences.
  • Interrelating ideas and information across subject matter areas and applying them to real-world settings when possible.

3. Planning and designing appropriate learning experiences for all students.

  • Selecting learning goals based on standards from New Jersey School Counselor Curriculum Initiative Frameworks.
  • Choosing, adapting or developing challenging curriculum and materials that are based on district frameworks.
  • Planning, developing and sequencing instructional activities for optimal student learning.
  • Creating and using resources to meet learner goals.
  • Using personnel resources to meet learner goals and optimize learning.

4. Implementing best teaching practices that engage all students and optimize learning.

  • Communicating purpose, expectations and procedures clearly and effectively to all students.
  • Facilitating opportunities that promote learning.
  • Facilitating opportunities for multiple modality learning.
  • Facilitating learning experiences that promote interaction, independent learning and community/team responsibility.
  • Facilitate learning experiences that promote autonomy.
  • Being flexible and responsive to individual students’ needs by monitoring and adjusting.

5. Assessing student learning and communicate results.

  • Implementing a variety of assessment tools.
  • Communicating assessment criteria and standards to all students.
  • Teaching and guiding student self-evaluation, reflection and goal setting.
  • Communicating student progress with students.
  • Communicating student progress with families and others.

6. Developing as a professional educator.

  • Engaging in reflection on teaching practices, establishing professional goals, planning professional development and working with colleagues to improve practice.
  • Engaging in continuous improvement through professional development.
  • Applying and refining a philosophy of education in alignment with district mission and goals as embraced by the Bethlehem Township District Employee Agreement.

7. Being members of the learning communities.

  • Participating in shared decision making.
  • Working collaboratively with communities, families and colleagues to improve student learning and professional practices.
  • Involvement in school and community.

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Duties of the Elementary Counselor

 

  • Delivery of the Guidance Curriculum
  • Provide in-service to faculty on District Crisis Plan, District Anti-Bullying Program and confidentiality, etc.
  • Counseling
  • Assessment
  • Developing communications skills that will help a child throughout his or her lifetime.
  • Help find early solution to student's problems.
  • Help make school a successful experience for all children.
  • Help develop appropriate behavior patterns for dealing with classroom activities and relationships with peers and teachers.
  • Encourage new interests to help students develop into confident individuals.
  • Include parents in their children's education
  • Yes I Can