School guidance counselors are needed now more than ever. Students today are more likely to grow up in single parent homes, experience cyber bullying, and be exposed to more dangerous types of peer pressure than ever before. All of these difficult challenges mean that our students need more support than in the past. Teachers are overworked and many parents are struggling to make ends meet, leaving a support gap for many students. Schools are working to help fill in this gap with guidance counselors.
Guidance counselors help support students, teachers, and parents by working with them as individuals and in groups. This could mean anything from helping a child as he is struggling with the divorce of his parents, to helping to work with a chronically truant student to get to class and successfully graduate. Just about any situation is fair game for a guidance counselor.
So what qualities make a good guidance counselor? See if you would be a good fit for this challenging role!
Do you enjoy working with students?
A guidance counselor should enjoy working with students. Let’s face it, we all know kids can be, well, less than fantastic. They complain. They make bad choices. Their logic is not logical at all. But think about this: one of these kids is going to be a president someday, or find the cure for cancer, or go on to be a coach in the NFL. These kids are going places. If the idea of helping a student along the difficult path of growing up is appealing, then enrolling in an online masters in school counseling program might be right for you.
Do you want to help students make career choices?
A guidance counselor should want to help kids plan for their future. A guidance counselor can help even the most academically bereft child find a niche where he or she would fit in. Whether it’s in the workforce or gently nudging them towards college or entering the military, students rely on school counselors to help them find the right fit.
Do you want to help teach students?
A guidance counselor should want to help educate students. Just because you aren’t officially a teacher doesn’t mean you’re off the hook! Guidance counselors are responsible for teaching certain types of curriculum, anything from sex ed to information about school bullying.
Do you like working in a group?
As a guidance counselor you have to be willing and able to work with a team of people. Parents, teachers, and even groups of students will look to you to help overcome interpersonal difficulties, as well as difficulties stemming from within the student’s family which are affecting school performance.
Do you enjoy helping students develop skills?
As a guidance counselor, you will help students develop skills that they can use for the rest of their lives. Skills such as time management, organization, goal setting, and study skills will help launch students successfully into the workforce or university. These skills can help set them up to succeed in whatever life may throw at them.
In addition to all the great reasons to become a guidance counselor, the salary potential isn’t bad either. This is a career field that is expected to grow faster than usual, which could bode well for your future in this area.
Still not sure if it’s right for you? Take a look at this article and see if this type of career is a good fit for you. Guidance counseling means a lot more than it did a few years ago, and is a great way to be involved in your community while earning a decent living to boot.