School counselors play important roles in school districts, allowing students to resolve issues they face at home or in the classroom. Given the challenges students may encounter in a remote or hybrid learning environment, their role may even more essential this year. Counselors can play an important role in enhancing equity and access in districts, according to the American School Counselor Association (ASCA).
National School Counseling Week, sponsored by ASCA, focuses on how counselors contribute to and impact U.S. school systems. Below, you can learn more about this day, including ways to celebrate and show appreciation with your students.
In 2022, National School Counseling Week will be February 7-11. It’s celebrated each year during the first full week of February.
The ASCA website explains that National School Counseling Week “highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career.”
School counselors play a vital role in helping students face various challenges. In Pasadena Now, Alvin Nash, president of United Teachers of Pasadena, said counselors allow K-12 students to better understand their own strengths; work with parents to help them overcome obstacles in raising their children; and encourage educators to have their students set healthy, positive goals.
Counselors are licensed educators who address students’ academic, career, and social/emotional development needs by implementing and executing a counseling program aiming for student success, according to ASCA. They can work in elementary, middle, or high schools or in district supervisory roles.
In particular, school counselors can benefit students of color and low-income students. Research links high student-to-counselor ratios in low-income schools with better outcomes, including improved attendance, fewer disciplinary incidents, and higher graduation rates. Per ASCA:
Students of color and students from low-income families have been overlooked and underserved for far too long. If anything, they deserve more access to school counselors than their peers — not the same, and certainly not less. And yet, the schools serving the most students of color or the most students from low-income families are shortchanged when it comes to school counselors.
According to ASCA, a 250-to-1 student-to-counselor ratio is ideal, though the average in many states is currently significantly higher.
On its website, ASCA offers a wide range of resources to celebrate National School Counseling Week with your students. There, you can find certificates of appreciation that students can give to school counselors, sample morning announcements to acknowledge this week, posters for students, and more. Here are more ways you can show your school counselor appreciation:
– Encourage your students to thank their school counselors, whether it’s upon seeing them in the hallway, visiting their office, or just sending them a nice email.
– Decorate their doors with signs expressing gratitude for the work school counselors do and the difference they make in students’ lives.
– Have your class create a poster where each student shares something they appreciate about their school counselor.
– Bring them a special gift or treat.
– In the announcements, acknowledge and thank your school counselor for the work they do.
– In the weekly email to parents, let them know about National School Counseling Week and the wonderful work that your school counselor does for their children.
– Hang posters around the school celebrating National School Counseling Week.
– Buy them a book they can use in their school counseling program.
Written by Jordan Friedman.