Phone: (956) 943-0070
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By definition, a school counselor is one who gives counsel. Yet in everyday life, a counselor does more than sit in an office giving counsel!
Derry Elementary is a unique school that consists of 3rd, 4th and 5th grades. We are a small school community, quite close-knit and truly involved in the needs of our students. On any given day I may be helping a student cope with bullying, going into the classroom to make class presentations, or scheduling programs and presentations as diverse as Fire Prevention, Veteran’s Day or Red Ribbon Week.
Basically, there are four components that umbrella the duties of a counselor.
The first component consists of the Guidance Curriculum which involves going into the classrooms and making presentations on decision making, goal setting, responsible behavior, and self-esteem issues. (Career awareness falls into this category, but can also fall into the third category as well.) Often a teacher or the principal may suggest a topic or a situation presents itself which allows for classroom discussion.
The second component involves Responsive Services which address the concerns of the students’ immediate needs. These issues may include academic concerns, coping with stress, family issues, and misbehavior. The students may self-refer or the referral may come from the parent, teacher or administrator. Parental permission is required for long-term intervention.
Individual Planning is the third component. This consists of assisting the student with student planning and goal setting. At the elementary level, this could include helping the student acquire skills to cope with test anxiety and study habits. Career awareness also falls into this category when discussing and helping a student research future career opportunities.
The last component of the model includes program and staff support activities and services. System Support consists of teacher/administrator consultation; research and publishing; community outreach; public relations and parent education.
And so while the role of the counselor, by definition giving counsel, seems simple, it is anything but! On any given day I will cover one or all of the responsibilities listed above all the while covering duties as assigned by the principal, answering telephones and generally being available for all the students and teachers. It is the love for the job that keeps me going.
I am most proud to be a part of Derry Elementary and promise to do my best every day in order to assure that our students become self-assured, caring and respectful adults.