By Teresa P. Crowder
National School Counseling Week was celebrated the first full week of February and aims to draw public attention to the unique contributions that school counselors make in our public schools.
School counselors have a huge impact on the shared contribution of other school staff to student success. Priscilla Davis, Amanda Mullins, Lonna Smith, Paula Stewart and Mary Lipford form the Johnson County School System’s 5-Star Team.
The group boasts a combined 88 years of experience working with students socially, emotionally and academically.
Tennessee requires school counselors to have at least a master’s degree. School counselors offer a variety of services, often ad hoc
advance notice and some extending beyond the end of the school day or extending into the weekend.
“School counselors are trained to provide social-emotional services
learning (SEL) SEL is more important than ever! SEL helps increase self-awareness, academic achievement, and prosocial behaviors inside and outside of
the classroom. I wish all school counselors had the time to do this
we’re specially trained to do that,” says Stewart. School counselors play a
important role in ensuring that students receive socio-emotional support and academic support.
Some days are dedicated to helping students through traumatic experiences, while others may be dedicated to helping students apply to colleges. A day in the life of a high school counselor is unpredictable, but very rewarding,” adds Mullins.
With the work of the school counselor comes the anxiety of feeling the need for more time to work with students, which supports the need for more counselors in our schools.
“My biggest challenge is trying to meet the needs of our students. I have no desire to replace my parents or other members of my family. We work best when we have a
common purpose and working together,” says Lipford. “Students in today’s world face far too many challenges. I could talk for days about examples. They need all the support, love and advice they can get.
You really need a village
raise a child,” says
Blacksmith.” I would like the state to reduce the student-to-
advisor report. In Tennessee, the counselor-to-student ratio is 1 counselor for every 500 students. The academic guidance standards are organized into three broad areas: academic development, social and emotional development, and college and career studies.
preperation. With a 1 to 500
ratio meets, the basic needs of our students are a major task. More and more of our time is spent responding to students and families in crisis. There are times when it’s overwhelming and exhausting, but there’s nothing I’d rather do than be a school counselor,” Lipford says.
School counselors have the desire and the heart to meet the needs of the school and the community and do so not because they have to, but
because they chose to do the work of a school counselor.
“I chose to be a school counselor because I love being able to empower students to succeed in school and in life,” Davis said. “I believe in the power of a good education and want to help others reach their full potential and reach their goals.”
“What I love most about my job is the kids themselves,” Lipford said. “The bad days never seem to last
a very long time because there is always a child who says or does something that reminds me of how lucky I am to have my job.
“Our job is tough. Even though we’re not family, we really care about your child,” Smith said. “We listen to them. We feel bad for them. We worry about them. It’s not just our job. It is our vocation.
For more information, please visit Home – American School Counselor Association (ASCA)