Guidance Counselor - Susan Simmons, M.Ed
Hello! My name is Susan Simmons, M.Ed., Counselor at Crutchfield Elementary School. This page provides you with information about the School Counseling program, upcoming counseling-related activities and events, and counseling topics and resources.
Sherman ISD Counselors facilitate the academic, career, and personal/social development of all students. School Counselors are integral members of the instructional team. They directly impact student achievement by delivering comprehensive services that meet the needs of the 21st century school community.
What does this mean for your child? This means that I pay close attention to every student in the building and how he/she 'connects' to his/her education and therefore achieves to the maximum level possible. I help your child and all school stakeholders to creatively problem-solve any issues that may (temporarily or otherwise) pose an obstacle to the learning process.
Professional School Counselors are uniquely trained leaders who promote success for all students. They collaborate with school stakeholders using data-driven decisions to facilitate the success of the 21st century learner in an ever-changing society. As a result the student will:
- achieve to his/her maximum potential
- demonstrate academic, career, personal/social problem-solving skills
- recognize and appreciate individual and cultural differences
- develop communication, citizenship and employ-ability skills to make positive contributions to the community
- access human and technological resources for support and information
What is a School Counselor?
I am a (minimum Master's level) certified, trained, and caring professional who works with all students, parents, teachers, staff and the community, in order for every student to achieve academic and social success. School Counseling services are delivered in four specific ways:
- Classroom Counseling Curriculum- designing ,structuring, and delivering classroom lessons so that students develop specific outcome-driven competencies in all grades K-4 (personal/social, academic, career)and driven by the needs of the school population
- Individual Student Planning- assisting students with goal formation/planning (behavioral, academic, etc.)
- Responsive Services- meeting immediate student needs (counseling, crisis intervention, consultation, referral, peer mediation, information-providing)
- System Support- schoolwide program planning and implementation (PBIS, R-Time, CHARACTER COUNTS!, Character Education, etc.), consulting with other professionals, coordination of various supports for students and families
How does your child experience school counseling services?
- Individual Counseling- I may work with a student in a safe, positive, and confidential setting to address issues that 'get in the way' of' school achievement. Topics are based on the needs of the student and may include: understanding feelings, changing families/divorce, grief, stress, social skills, academics, bullying, problem-solving, and decision-making.
- Small Group Counseling- A process where students sharing similar issues or concerns work together in a small group environment consisting of about 3-6 peers. The group sessions usually last about 30 minutes and are held for approximately 6-8 weeks. Topics are based on the needs of the students and may include divorce or changing families, grief and loss, friendship and social skills, study skills, conflict resolution, anger management, self-esteem, and stress-management.
- Classroom Counseling lessons- I develop and implement K-4 classroom curriculum driven by national, state, and district school counseling outcomes. I often co-plan and co-teach lessons with other professionals in the building to support social and emotional growth across curricular areas. Classroom lessons are regularly scheduled and address personal, social, academic, and career-related needs at the child's developmental level. Topics may include self-esteem, conflict resolution, study skills, anger management, career awareness, tattling/reporting, friendship/social skills, responsibility, respect, teasing/bullying, feelings, cooperation, goal setting/decision-making, and peer pressure. I almost always send home a letter to parents after each and every classroom lesson because I believe that a strong home-school partnership is what's best for kids.
School Counselor Leadership Roles:
- PBIS Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports team member
- Character Development, Chair
- Response to Intervention Team Member (RtI)
- Crisis Response Team/Counseling-Response Team
- Green Team (Recycling) Chair
- Bully-Prevention/Intervention Program Campus Coordinator
- Section 504 Coordinator
- At Risk Campus Specialist
- Homeless Campus Liason
Counseling Approaches Commonly Used to Assist Students:
Play-Therapeutic or Art- Therapeutic Experiences (exploring & role-playing solutions, creative representations of life situations)
Biblio-therapeutic Experiences (reading & discussing books relevant to whatever the student is experiencing)
Conflict-Resolution processes (working out disagreements)
Video-clip discussion/analysis (identifying strengths, challenges, solutions)
Behavioral Coaching/Role Plays (goal-setting & encouragement)
Therapeutic Games (card & board games focused on developing coping skills)
Active Listening & Academic/Organizational Skill-Development
I am delighted to be able to go into our classrooms and conduct classroom guidance activities with our students. Kelso the Frog has been visiting with our 1st and 2nd graders about conflict resolution and 3rd and 4th grade classes have been using the program by Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul & Mary fame) called "Don't Laugh At Me" - an anti-bullying and no tolerance for violence. In the kindergarten classrooms we are learning with "I Care Cat" - a program designed to teach social skills such as getting along, how to be a friend, listening, and responsibility.
I am so happy to have you and your family as a part of our Crutchfield community. If I can help you with anything, please let me know.
Believing in a student, especially when others do not, may just be the answer for this student to learn to believe in himself and understand what it feels like to be believed in.