High School Guidance Counseling
The life of typical High School students is one full of uncertainty and turmoil. It is a time of increasing stress with influences of accountability from high stakes test taking to pressure from peers. High school is a time of life altering transition that can wreak havoc on the students’ abilities to make good decisions for the welfare of themselves and others.
High school students are often looking for a place to belong. They rely heavily on their peer groups to learn what types of behaviors are rewarded with reactions they feel to be positive, often at the expense of reason and good judgement.
The high school counselor’s job is many and sundry when dealing with high school students. It is a highly demanding job with expertise needed in psychology, counseling methods and career guidance. However, when you see the result of your hard work pay off in the form of students maturing and moving on to become successful and confident citizens, high school counseling can be a highly rewarding career.
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Role of a High School Counselor
As emphasized in the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) national standards, high school counseling and guidance services are meant to address the barriers students have to learning, both educational learning and life-long learning.
High school counseling adopts techniques for addressing all students’ various and many issues that effect their abilities to perform in an educational environment both academically and socially.
It is essential high school counselors are able to fully understand the fundamental goals of their position in high school students’ lives. Their goals should be aligning with the goals of their employing high schools and districts. High school counselors are in the business of helping students become citizens who are 1.) successful in our fast-paced growing economy, 2.) good family providers, 3.) responsible parents and 4.) involved in their communities.
With these goals in mind, high school counselors will assess the needs of high school students by being a part of curriculum development, assessment of educational needs on an individual basis, intervention and counseling for students who are dealing with issues effecting learning, and helping students explore the world that lies beyond high school graduation.
High School Counseling Services
High school counselors provide a variety of services aimed at addressing barriers to students’ learning.
Counselors may find themselves helping to create and implement programs that aid in the development of academic skills. High school counselors will often offer their expertise by extracting various methods of developing organizing, studying and test-taking skills from their extensive academic tool boxes.
Another facet of high school counseling is preparation for post-secondary life. High school counselors provide information and services for helping students learn what kind of post-graduation careers may be available or they may aid students in the application process for post-secondary education.
One highly important factor in the success of high school students both in learning and career prospecting is the development of effective social skills. High school students vary wildly in their abilities to demonstrate maturity in this area. High school counselors often help those students with a lack of positive role models to learn social skills from by incorporating social skills development in program curriculum.
High school counseling also addresses issues effecting the safety and health of students through the development of programs such as substance abuse education and multicultural awareness. In today’s exceedingly diverse economy, America is needing more clear-headed and open-minded individuals.
Lastly, high school counselors are often involved in crisis intervention and management by providing counseling services and psychological assessments.
Life in the Field
High school counseling or guidance counseling can be a difficult and draining experience at times. Due to time constraints, many districts see school counselors as serving a unique purpose apart from the development of programs and curriculum for the student body as a whole. However, these views are changing. As communities become more affected by an increasingly global economy, the need for employing psychological aspects into program and curriculum development will continue.
In other words, the job of high school counseling will become more and more important to the success of schools and to the aspects of accountability for educators of all levels in the future.