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.
National School Counseling Week is typically 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:
A MUST-HAVE THERAPY TOOL! The counselor is not the strategy. The counselor teaches strategies. This quick read is full of tools to use in group or individual counseling sessions. The techniques shared will help kids feel empowered to handle everyday challenges and able to deal with their feelings and stress. Also available on Amazon.
A great resource for courselor, educators, and parents! Packed with clear definitions, facts, stories, and talking points, this book is rooted in the understanding that relationships are the priority – it only takes one committed grown up to help a kid heal and build grit through co-regulation. Also available on Amazon.
Brick Brain and Bubble Gum Brain are two children with VERY different mindsets. This delightful picture book teaches children (and adults) the important lesson that becoming is better than being. Having a growth mindset can open the doors to a world of possibilities! Also available on Amazon.
Louis is always interrupting! When he wants to say something, his words jiggle and wiggle, grumble and rumble, right before he ERUPTS (or interrupts). This picutre book takes an gentle approach to the habit of interrupting. Kids will learn a witty technique to help them better control their words and thoughts. Also available on Amazon.
Ready to harness the power of your brain? Discover the surprising role of our eight senses, differences between the two brain “teams”, and more! Using a diverse group of characters, Jessica Sinarski takes complex neuroscience and turns it into fun illustrations, helpful metaphors, and practical strategies. Also available on Amazon.
Written by Jordan Friedman.
Sign up for our Newsletter
The semi-monthly eNewsletter features: