Aside from organizing students’ schedules and managing academic assessment exams and placement exams, school counselors are frontrunners that can tremendously play a role in improving and accelerating learning. They should convince others that their insights are valuable and working with school principals and other academic officials.
A school counselor has several responsibilities, including providing sound advice to students and referring them to external agencies, joining support communities, engaging in group counseling sessions, working with parents and teachers, and assessing and enhancing their own academic counseling system.
Below is a list of important leadership characteristics that a counselor must possess.
Being empathetic – placing themselves in the shoes of the individual they’re dealing with – significantly helps a counselor learn and understand the core problems. Experienced counselors agree that the capacity to understand their students’ experiences truly helps them do their job effectively. Empathy, according to them, encourages listening and an improved ability to assist their clients in finding worthwhile solutions to their issues. Students also become more comfortable and more eager to open up to them honestly.
To start, any counselor must be a good listener. Generally, counselors deal with many students and often get very few opportunities to talk with them thoroughly in just one session. But seasoned counselors suggest that the primary need of humans is to grasp what the other person is trying to convey, and of course, to be understood by the other person as well. What better way to achieve this than by listening?
Counselors should be completely in the moment to be effective listeners. This means committing their full attention to the problem at hand instead of thinking about just simply doing their job description. Their view of the person’s issues and how they deal with them will show how much they have listened and understood them. They should also be open-minded while being cautious not to criticize until they have clearly understood the person’s story.
Evaluation skills are important for school counselors in several areas. From skills evaluations and personalized career and testing advisement, the counselor’s capacity to distinguish between desire and talent is significant in effectively providing counsel.
Evaluations also include identifying whether or not a student has specific needs and translating certain types of data to decide which position the students must be placed in and what kind of programs they can take advantage of.
Notwithstanding the purpose for the evaluation, the stages usually include but are not limited to:
- Selecting the tests that should be performed and when.
- Preparing and running examinations.
- Providing sound advice to students, parents, teachers, and others.
- Assessing examinations, results, and ensuing proposals and suggestions. Evaluations require some testing but should be combined with being empathetic, being a good listener, and ultimately the connection that has been established to identify how testing results relate to the students’ traits, needs, and goals.
Building a significant connection with students or fellow counselors is not quite easy. But through empathy and great listening skills, this can be achieved quicker.
To talk to a counselor comfortably, a student should establish trust, ease, and acceptance. He must recognize that his counselor is a professional helper who can go to without fear of being criticized. On the other hand, a counselor who can create this unquestioning connection with a student is obviously more efficient in doing his job.
If there is one thing that is sure in education, it is that change is constant. Programs, schedules, and obligations all disrupt a counselor’s everyday routine.
The needs of students and the requirements of the school in general frequently come first – scheduled meetings only second. Staff and parent issues, conversations within the classroom, and unforeseen counseling needs could all be distractive.
An efficient counselor must:
- Utilize effective time management strategies.
- Reserve short breaks daily in case of unscheduled needs.
- Communicate thoroughly. Inform parents, students, and teachers of programs, schedules, as well as limitations.
- Set realistic boundaries. Learn to know which ones are worth the distraction and which ones can wait.
By being versatile, counselors can deal with the stress that comes with the job better and will be more receptive when they need to counsel arises unexpectedly.
Managing School Efforts And Activities
This can be aligned into various categories. Counselors need to synchronize education plans for students, including other specific programs for students. Along with managing student programs and collaborating with teachers and other staff, the school counselor usually organizes other tasks and activities.
In many situations, counselors are tasked with taking care of school announcements, newsletters, coordinating social media accounts, and other outreach and activity efforts.
The ability to manage and organize school efforts and activities needs robust management and leadership skills. Sharing these skills with the students by permitting them to be responsible for their own educational objectives allows the counselor to become a leader by example.
Possessing A Sense Of Humor
The capacity to see things with grace and humor definitely has several benefits. It allows students to realize that counselors are also humans and are capable of laughing at circumstances and laughing at themselves as well. Having humor is among the tremendous assets in establishing student trust and building a connection with them. It is frequently how those students associate with adults, either through humorous comments or jokes, that show a point that counselors are trying to convey. Finally, humor is a great stress reliever.
It definitely takes a blend of several leadership traits for someone to be an effective school counselor. He should be empathetic and utilize efficient listening skills to be able to establish harmonious and effective relationships. Counselors should also administer evaluations and manage academic efforts and activities. Possessing only one of these traits is not sufficient – and nobody is equally proficient in all of these traits.