One of the most neglected personalities in the school is the Guidance Counselor. If she is not ignored, her role in the academe is often misconstrued. She is often only thought of as the last resort for unruly and delinquent children.
However, the Guidance Counselor can provide services not only for students who display irresponsible behavior but also for those who conduct themselves well in their classes.
According to Lorelei R. Vinluan, the following are also services that a Guidance Counselor provides aside from counseling:
Appraisal service is an attempt to collect and interpret as much information as possible concerning a student1. This service reveals a person’s potential and characteristics, making way for him to understand himself and be understood by others.
Through career assistance, a student becomes aware of various occupations and educational opportunities available to him1. Career assistance comes in a number of ways including interest inventories, provision of brochures and conduct of seminars on occupational information1.
Placement and Follow-up1
This is a popular guidance service especially among high school and college students1. It improves a student’s advancement by helping him choose and avail of school and industrial opportunities1.
In-school placement matches students with schools and school programs1. Career placement, on the other hand, matches students with available jobs. Follow-up activities evaluate if the placement made was effective or not1.
A good guidance counselor possesses a roster of competent professionals who specialize in guidance services beyond the counselor’s proficiency. Having this list enables a guidance counselor to recommend the appropriate expert to a client in need.
Prevention is the avoidance of an undesirable condition1. One type of prevention is primary prevention. This is executed to groups of currently unaffected people for them to continue functioning in ways that are healthy and free from disturbance1. Some of the primary prevention activities in elementary schools are directed toward the prevention of child abuse, sexual abuse and substance abuse as well as promotion of self-concept development and personal safety1.
Knowing these encourages us to tap these neglected services from your child’s school guidance counselor. Some guidelines for you to follow to maximize the services of your child’s guidance counselor are the following:
Request for individual assessment.
Set an appointment with your child’s guidance counselor. Personally request for data on your child’s personality, cognition, attitudes, values and interests. Establish and maintain a good relationship with the counselor. Ask the counselor to make this as fun as possible for your child.
Remember to inform your child about this. Tell him that he might be making visits to the counselor so that he would know himself better. Encourage him to talk about the progress of his assessment so that you would see if this is helping him or not.
Solicit for suggestion on what club or organization your child would benefit from the most.
Ask your child’s guidance counselor about the clubs and organizations your child could join. Discuss with her what club is most suitable for your child.
Usually, parents end up surprised that their child excels at a certain area. It is common for parents to wait passively for the teachers to discover what their child is good at and to expect these teachers to push the child to pursue the field he excels in.
Being proactive in your child’s school life, including in deciding what organization he could participate in, will show him that he matters to you and you care about him. You will avoid overdoing it by talking out everything with your child and reaching a decision together.
Avoid getting personal services/consultation for free.
Remember that the school guidance counselor was hired primarily to provide counseling assistance to the school children. Focus your relationship with her on matters concerning your child.
If you have to get advice on marital, financial and career issues, simply ask for referrals. The counselor could give you unsolicited advice if she learns about your concerns but do not abuse such kindness.
The key in parenting is taking a proactive stance. Think of ways to be more involved in your child’s life. One of such ways is tapping services available in your child’s school, including those provided by his Guidance Counselor.
- 1. Vinluan, Lorelei R. Guidance Services. College of Education, University of the Philippines Diliman