Today begins National School Counseling Week – an opportunity for school districts across the country to recognize the critical role counselors play in ensuring that students are college and career ready, and that their social and emotional wellbeing is a constant priority.
Once considered to be largely administrative, the role of the school counselor has evolved over time, now touching every facet of a student’s life.
“The day-to-day responsibilities of a counselor can vary dramatically from school to school,” said Martha Williams, who has been the school counselor at CPS’ Crown Academy for the past ten years. “But the work always centers on the same thing - managing a student’s wellbeing. This means everything from academic success to social emotional health. Bottom line, school counselors are advocates for children.”
In addition to guiding them through academic planning and career exploration, counselors are a source of unwavering emotional support for their students, engaging in many projects to shape and improve school climate.
“A counselors goal is to develop a culture of calm and respect within the school,” said Williams.
“This comes from giving students strategies to build relationships and better understand one another.”
Indeed, school counselors help students develop the skills they need to mediate and resolve conflicts. And when tragedy strikes, they are often a school district’s first responders, providing comfort to students, families, and entire schools. They also develop close-knit relationships with school families and leverage resources from within the community to help meet students’ needs.
National School Counseling Week runs from February 2–6, and is an excellent opportunity for students, parents and staff to thank counselors for the profound impact they have on the health and success of our school communities.
“School counselors implement comprehensive programs that are a vital part of the educational process for all students as they get ready to meet the challenges of the 21st century", said Barbara Karpouzian, Executive Director for the CPS Office of School Counseling and Postsecondary Advising. ““This special week provides them with recognition for this exceptionally important work.”