Many people look back on their schooling experience and remember one special teacher who really helped them. For some adults that individual was not a teacher, but a school counselor. Highly trained individuals, school counselors aren’t just there for students who are struggling with personal or social problems. They also help students achieve academic success and set career goals.
Anxiety is Counterproductive to Classroom Success
High anxiety levels make it hard to learn. It doesn’t matter if the student is anxious about things going poorly at home or an upcoming test. When stress takes over, it can crowd out the ability to think straight and succeed at school.
School counselors are dedicated to helping students deal with stress and anxiety, regardless of where it might come from. They provide guidance and strategies for dealing with bullies, they can help when there are problems at home, and they can even assist with classroom problems. West Virginia reports that school counseling interventions successfully helped students reduce their text anxiety, so they could succeed academically.
Available for Everyone
It’s important to know that the school counselor isn’t only there for students who are socially awkward or trapped in a situation involving bullying or abuse. They are there for any student who needs a little extra help succeeding at school or wants some direction setting future goals.
The Institute of Medicine conducted years of research and concluded that school counselors were effective at helping students succeed academically. The Institute strongly suggested that the mental health service be considered mainstream positions rather than options. Whether you are struggling with test anxiety, trying to determine what you should write your college essay about, or just need someone to talk to, the counselor is there to help you.
Paying a Visit to the Counselor
If you feel like you could benefit from a visit with the counselor, you might be a little nervous. However, the meetings with counselors are usually private. If you would like, then you can ask that a parent, other students or a teacher to attend the meeting with you. The counselor will focus on what is best for the student, and you can always ask for a private meeting time.
You might feel like you aren’t going to know exactly what’s bothering you or what to say to the counselor, but they can help with that. They are trained in figuring out what the root of a problem is, and they can help you pinpoint the issue to address it.
A Growing Field
You might be interested in joining this valuable profession, and there is a growing need for counselors. The U.S. Department of Education reports that the average student to counselor ratio is currently 488 to one. In some schools, this ratio is an astonishing 1,000 to one. However, the America School Health Association believes that the ratio should never exceed 250 to one.
While local school funding dictates how many school counselors there will be, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that this field will experience average growth of 20 percent over the next decade. However, as schools come to appreciate the importance of these professionals, the demand could grow faster.
Your school counselor is an important part of the team of people striving to prepare you for the world. They are there to help you succeed now and as you move forward. Whether you need assistance with a personal problem or an academic one, you can count on these caring professionals to provide you with the assistance you require.
Michelle Oeil blogs about higher education and counseling. If you are interested in becoming a counselor, you might consider applying for a masters degree in school counseling at http://counseling.online.wfu.edu/ or http://www.shu.edu.