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School Counselor News School Counselor News

One hundred years from now it will not matter how much money you made what kind of car you drove what sort of house you lived in, but one hundred years from now the world will be a better place because you made a difference in the life of A Child. ~Author Unknown  

Where Did The Guidance Counselor Go?

Article By Caren Potter, School Counselor

While we cannot reach everyone, we can educate about the change in the name..."Back when I was in school we had Vice Principals {now Assistant Principals}, Librarians {now Media Specialists}, and Guidance Counselors {now School Counselors}--why the name change?  Is it just semantics?  Well, as with most things, the role quite simply evolved.  These days the role of assistant principal looks different than vice principal, the role of media specialist covers more than librarian, and the role of school counselor encompasses more than guidance counselor. 


Thankfully, much has changed in the counseling profession.  Previously, guidance counselors helped students with course selection to prepare them for a role in the future as a high school graduate entering the work force or a college-bound student.  Often the guidance counselor determined what the student's future should be based upon what little they knew about that student. The counselor, who's primary role was to "guide," was the leader in making important decisions for the student, and not necessarily in the best interest of the student.

School counseling is a profession where its members are specifically trained and supported in the role of school counseling. It is different than the former role of a guidance counselor, and vastly different from the role of a mental health counselor. School counselors support the entire school community--students, teachers, staff, parents/guardians--in areas such as academic success, personal/social development, career awareness and development, referrals to community agencies, behavior planning, goal-setting, and the like. School counselors offer workshops to other professionals, including school counselors and teachers, to expand their services to their schools. School counselors offer parenting programs to assist parents with their children, regardless of their developmental stage. School counselors no longer "guide" those whom they serve to make decisions and choices that support the counselor's ideas, rather counselors interact with others to support them in the direction they intend to go!"

School Counselor to Student Ratios per School ~ 2016-17 School Year:

GGB: 1:654   Grades PreK--2nd

SSE: 1:581    Grades 3rd--5th

M.S.: 1:559    Grades 6th--8th

H.S.: 1:258    Grades 9th--12th  (3 School Counselors at H.S.)

The Role of the School Counselor – ASCA Article about Counselor to Student Ratio

What Does A School Counselor Do? (2 minute video clip)

Purpose of School Counseling for Students:

  • Help you by listening to your problems and concerns
  • Explore your feelings and how you had a good or awful day
  • Provide a safe place to talk about anything
  • Provide trusting relationships
  • Develop academic, social, and friendship skills
  • Explore what you think and feel about yourself (self-esteem)
  • Help you be a success at school

What The School Counselor Can Offer:

Individual Counseling:

Need an ear or someone to bounce an idea off of? Having trouble with a friend, teacher, or family member? One-on-one counseling is offered to all students during school hours. Sessions are kept confidential (private) and do require parent permission.


Three Ways Students Can Meet With The School Counselor:

Fill out a note from a basket outside the School Counselor's door and place the note back in the basket.

Talk to a teacher for a referral to talk with the School Counselor.

Talk with a guardian/parent for a referral to talk with the School Counselor.  Your School Counselor is here to help you!  Stop by and chat.  Together we will help make your school fun, safe, and a great place to be. 

Confidentiality Means: whatever you talk about with the School Counselor stays private and is never said to anyone else with 3 limits:

1)       Harm Self or Others: if you plan to hurt yourself or someone else

2)       Child Abuse:  if someone is hurting you or someone you know

3)       Court: if a judge subpoenas the Counselor to talk about our counseling sessions together

If any of these 3 things happen, the School Counselor will have to break confidentiality and tell someone who can help you right away!  So, you can be SAFE.

Small Group Counseling:

The George G. Blaisdell's Elementary Counseling Program is designed to enhance academic, personal, social, and career awareness of all students. The program is based on the developmental stages of PreK-2nd with a primary focus directed towards education and prevention. A variety of small group sessions will be offered throughout the year to possibly include:

Cool Heads (Anger Management)

Family Changes (Kids with Divorced Parents)

Saying Goodbye (Grief and Loss)

Confident Kids (Self-esteem / Self-concept)

Friendship Circle (Friendship Skills, Making and Keeping Friends)

Deployment (Loved One Deployed in the Military)

Child with a Loved One Incarcerated (In Jail)

Social Buddies (Social Skills, Manners)

Smart Thinkers (Academic Development, Listening Skills, Paying Attention Skills)

* Please note that not all groups are offered at one time. Please contact your School Counselor directly to inquire about a special small group that you feel would be beneficial to your son or daughter.

Counseling Lessons: Counseling Lessons consist of a variety of lessons, activities, and themes presented to your child on a rotational schedule. Lessons are planned to appropriately address the developmental levels of students.  Please talk with your child about what he or she is learning in Counseling Lessons.  Topics for lessons include:
  • Anger Management Skills
  • Safety Awareness (Stranger Safety Skills) 
  • Trusting Adults
  • Friendship Skills
  • Social Skills / Manners
  • Bullying and Cyber-bullying Awareness  
  • Self-Esteem
  • Problem-Solving Skills (Nine Kelso the Frog Choices/Chart) 
  • Big versus Small Problems
  • Career Awareness 
  • Character Education (Auto-B-Good Program, Popcorn Park) 
  • Safe and Unsafe Touches (Grades K-2nd) 
  • Illegal Drug and Medicine Awareness (Grades 1st-2nd)

Examples of School Counseling Techniques:    

  • Silence {Planned Pause, Time to Reflect}
  • Closed-Ended Questions                                                                            
  • Probe {"Tell me more about "X."} 
  • Open-Ended Questions                                                                              
  • Summarization of Feelings                                                                        
  • Accent                                                                                                      
  • Reflection of Feelings                                                                               
  • Minimal Verbal Activity                                                                             
  • Restatement                                                                                            
  • Request for Clarification  {"Can you tell me more about "X?"}
  • Acknowledgement of Non-Verbal Behavior

Drop a Pebble in the Water

Drop a pebble in the water

Just a splash and it's gone.

But there's half a hundred ripples

Circling on and on and on

Spreading, spreading from the center

Flowing on out to sea

And there is no way of telling

Where the end is going to be.

-James W. Foley

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School Counselor Connection
George G. Blaisdell Elementary School
265 Constitution Avenue
Bradford, PA 16701
PHONE (814) 362-6834

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