Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Many "Apps" of a School Counsellor

At the beginning of the school year, I make it a point to go into classrooms, introduce myself, and let the student's know a bit about my role as the school counsellor. The older girls are pretty informed about my basic job duties and understand that I am someone that can be considered a trusted confidant (with limits in place, of course!). The younger ones, however, may be a bit confused and need the help of a good book to understand. I love to use The Rainbow Fish, by Marcus Pfister, and liken myself to the "wise octopus" to illustrate my primary responsibilities as both and advocate and someone who can help them when they are struggling.

"I have been expecting you," said the octopus in a deep voice. "The waves have told me your story. Listen to my advice: give every fish one of your glittering scales. Then you may not be the most beautiful fish in the ocean, but you will be happy again." 

To better help the upper elementary girls (and those middle and high schoolers passing by my office) to understand more about a school counsellor (and to keep these descriptors fresh in their minds), I decided to turn to my bulletin board for some assistance. I can't take complete credit, as this amazing idea came from Pinterest!

Can you guess how each "app" represents the role of the school counsellor? A particular favorite was the use of the Pokemon Go icon, considering its popularity. Here is the up-close version!

As you can see, like teachers, school counsellors wear many hats, and no one "app" is more important than the next. Also, it's important to know that these responsibilities are managed through 1:1 counseling (both short-term and long-term, depending on the situation and student), group counselling, consultation with teachers and through lessons in the classrooms. The best approach, of course is one where all systems (school, home, community) come together to help our children develop the necessary skills they'll rely on as they get older.

Parents, hopefully the start of the school year has been a smooth one for you and your child. As always, please do not hesitate to connect with me regarding any concerns you may have.

~Ms. Carnright

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