We write to introduce ourselves and our role as the Davis School Counselors. During the year you may hear your child mention our names. We hope you do as it is our intent to be in all classrooms and seen as a "helper" available to all children. Ways in which we may be observed helping is in the lunchroom or outside during recess; eating lunch with children, thus providing extra adult attention to a small group; supporting teachers in helping students learn appropriate behavior; working with the classroom teacher to plan and implement programs which supports or enhances Open Circle; and much more. Our role as counselors is considered to be a support service under regular education. Our role in Special Education is as a team member with responsibily for psychological assessments. A recent publication of the Massachusetts School Counselors Association gave a clear definition of the role of a school counselor. In the primary school setting the counselor facilitates a student's development in the following ways:
- Academic Development - This would include "the acquisition of skills, attitudes and knowledge which contributes to effective learning in school and throughout the lifespan;
- Personal/Social Development - This would include the acquisition of skills, attitudes, and knowledge to help students understand and respect self and others, acquire effective interpersonal skills, understand and practice safety skills; and
- Develop into contributing members of society.
Clearly our role does not involve giving a child a "label" or psychoanalysis. It involves supporting individual development in both academic and social areas.
There may, however, be times in a child's life when particular changes/stressors cause a child to regress either academically or emotionally. Addressing the issues can help alleviate the impact in the areas of academics and social interactions. As the school counselors, we are here to provide information and support to you and your child. No one can change the past or take away the problems one may be dealing with in the present. Becoming aware of ways (effective coping skills) for dealing with difficult situations enables us to face the future in a more positive way. Just as a cast on a broken bone does not heal the bone, but merely supports the bone while it heals, so it is with a school counselor. The counselor cannot make problems instantly go away, but merely provides support while growth takes place.