What kind of problems do elementary kids have?
Why bother with a school counselor at this age?
Wouldn't they be more helpful with the middle school or high school students?
Questions like these are often directed at counselors at the elementary level. It's difficult for people to see that children, even very young children, have problems that a teacher or parent may not be able to help with. Or even if they could help, maybe their child does not feel comfortable talking to them because it's a problem that involves that person or maybe they don't feel comfortable for a variety of reasons! We all experience those occasions when our child just won't talk to us. So who will our child talk to?
That's where the school counselor comes into play! A counselor in an elementary school is more than a testing coordinator or school-based referral team chair. A counselor can be a person who isn't going to judge or discipline. A school counselor's job is to listen to kids. That's what we're trained to do! Listening is an art, and counselors become grand masters of this art.
How do you talk to the kid who is just learning about his body, but is discussing it or exploring it in inappropriate ways? How do you approach the girls whose arguments are becoming so disruptive that both the home and classroom are becoming battle fields? Who wipes the tears from the eyes of a child who has lost someone close to them, but is afraid to talk to their family because they don't want to upset their parents even more? How many times has a parent wondered, "is this normal for my child?" How many teachers have questioned "what am I supposed to do now? I've tried everything else!"
A counselor can assist with these issues and more! Besides knowing how to listen, school counselors are often trained in many areas, such as learning disabilities, ADD, parenting techniques, typical and non-typical behaviors, etc.
These are the basic reasons why school counselors are employed in our elementary schools. Counselors are resources for students, parents/guardians, and educators.
Stop by and see how resourceful a counselor can be!