School counselors are involved in the lives of elementary students during an exciting time — a time of rapid growth and change that can impact success in school. A huge part of the elementary school counselor job description involves helping students work through their challenges to promote increased learning and academic achievement.
An elementary school counselor does more than meet the mental health needs of children. They use their skills, judgment and understanding of the teaching and learning process to provide support that makes a huge impact on children’s engagement and their ability to process knowledge. Below are three ways in which elementary school counselors are vital in helping to create a solid foundation for early learning.
1. Help Students Develop Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills
An elementary school counselor helps students learn problem-solving techniques including identifying a problem, recognizing the options, weighing evidence and evaluating the consequences. School counselors work with students to encourage the use of these skills in their everyday lives to build ongoing habits. Developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills familiarizes students with practicing sound reasoning and making complex choices. This practice can help them make responsible choices toward academic achievement as well as in other areas.
2. Provide Academic Support to Help Students Succeed
The elementary years are a time when students begin to develop their confidence as learners. Elementary school counselors guide students to productive futures by encouraging study skills and providing academic support that will help in the student’s transition to the next grade level. School counselors also help students develop an understanding of their individual strengths and weaknesses — allowing them to set realistic goals and achieve success. Through a combination of consultation and collaboration, an elementary school counselor works one-on-one with the student, parents and teachers to determine the best course of action to help each child succeed academically.
3. Provide Support and Guidance to Encourage Personal Development
Developing positive self-esteem and an awareness of one’s unique potential has a huge impact on early learning. An elementary school counselor helps students develop the positive attitudes and actions they’ll need to achieve their educational and future professional goals. Whether it is dealing with the effects of abuse or teaching students how to accept responsibility, supporting personal development is an important factor in cultivating a positive learning environment for elementary students.
Elementary school counselors provide guidance and support for healthy personal growth and positive academic achievement at an early stage in childhood, creating a solid foundation for high school and beyond. The online Master of Education in School Counseling at Our Lady of the Lake University prepares future school counselors to meet the needs of students with the knowledge, skills and expertise to support each student according to his or her individual needs.