Middle school and high school guidance counselors have one of the most important jobs in the educational system. Not only are they educators (in many cases), but a guidance counselor is also like an HR representative for children. It’s up to these academics to ensure students have an optimal learning experience and are prepared for life after high school.
It takes a special person with great communication skills and compassion for children to do what guidance counselors do. Furthermore, the better they are at their jobs, the brighter the prospects of their students are. Continue reading to get some tips to help you become an even more effective guidance counselor.
1. Build relationships with college admission offices
Senior year is the most exciting, yet stressful, year of a high school student’s life. They have to find their niche in life, prepare for graduation, and navigate the college admissions process, all while trying to maintain their grades and enjoy their last year of high school.
One way you can be there for your seniors is by building relationships with college admissions offices and consultants. These relationships could turn into pipelines from your high school to the colleges of the admissions offices with which you’re familiar.
You could also increase the chances of your students getting into top colleges like Stanford and Yale by directing them to college app advisors like those at Empowerly. An admissions consultant can help your students in a variety of ways, including helping them optimize their resumes with extracurricular activities and college essays specifically for their dream schools. The admissions process is much easier for students when they know what top colleges are looking for. It’s a bit like having the answers to a test.
2. Take career coaching courses
As an educator, you know the importance of continuing your education to become better at your job and raise your ceiling. By taking career coaching classes, you can become more adept at helping students to discover their strengths and work on their weaknesses.
Of course, taking classes while you’re already working full-time can be overwhelming. However, online learning programs allow you to move at your own pace so you can concentrate on the other important things in your life.
3. Form relationships with at-risk students and their parents
The kids who get in the most trouble in school are often the ones who need the most help. It’s easy to write off a troubled child as an irredeemable delinquent, but that only fuels the school-to-prison pipeline.
The best way to make a difference in an at-risk child’s life is to form relationships with them and their parents. You won’t be able to save them all, but even one learner is better than none.
4. Form programs for high schools students who aren’t college-bound
As you know, not every student in your school is bound for college. However, even students who plan to immediately enter the workforce need the same level of support and guidance as they enter the real world. As a guidance counselor, you can institute programs to help your students who aren’t going to college to get off on the right foot as they step into adulthood.
5. Prioritize anti-bullying measures
Parents and educators have been putting the spotlight on bullying in recent years. However, the anti-bullying battle isn’t over until bullying is obsolete. It’s important to note that the fight against bullying isn’t a fight against bullies. Indeed, both bullies and their victims need help from educators, counselors, and their families to overcome their issues.
Bullies are often scared and insecure, which is why they like to instill fear and insecurity in others. Creating programs to help bullies and victims of bullying could transform your school and improve the learning experience for all involved.
Becoming a guidance counselor is one of the best ways to have a positive impact on the lives of children. You might not be able to walk with them every step of the way, but helping them to maximize their strengths and overcome their challenges gives them a leg up in the future.