School Counselors Guide and Support Students
Students need all kinds of support as they grow and mature, and Sherman ISD school counselors are there to help them navigate difficult school and life situations. During National School Counseling Week February 6-10, Sherman ISD and campuses took time to honor them.
“Our team works hard and cares deeply about students,” said Aileen Hays, Coordinator of Counseling and Student Services. “They are creative, smart and fun, and our counselors are great problem solvers.”
SISD counselors follow the Texas Model for Comprehensive School Counseling Programs, which has four focus areas: individual planning, guidance curriculum, responsive services and system support.
Individual planning involves guiding a student through personal, emotional and educational development. It can take the form of being a mentor or helping students plan their academic journey. All Sherman High School students meet with their counselor yearly to plan their educational experience based on their individual needs, interests and goals.
“That part has been a part of a counselor’s job for a long time,” Hays said. “But it’s not the only part anymore as student needs have increased.”
Counselors also build a guidance curriculum for students, which involves learning about positive character traits and positive behavior reinforcement, which helps students achieve their full educational potential. At elementary schools, counselors provide regular guidance lessons to help students learn about kindness, respect, and honesty.
“Counselors address the state character education standards on their campus,” Hays said. “It involves teaching respect, integrity, responsibility, gratitude and other positive traits.”
When students face stressful life ife situations, school counselors provide responsive services such as listening, problem solving, and sharing resources with a student’s family to help them through rough patches. Middle school students especially may need help as they navigate that stage of life.
“In middle school, kids are growing up and learning how to be friends and may run into more interpersonal conflicts,” Hays said. “Counselors help resolve those conflicts and help our students learn the skills to build positive relationships.”
It takes a village to raise a child, and school counselors help strengthen the support provided by parents, teachers and other community members.
“School counselors are a great resource,” Hays said. “They are experts on kids and mental health and are knowledgeable about community resources.”