By: Teresa Marchant
The role of a school guidance counselor has changed over the years. With the increased need to make data based decisions, they are taking on more and more responsibilities. Counselors not only help students with their social-emotional needs, but with graduation requirements and college applications. With so many responsibilities, they are constantly juggling their roles to allocate time for data engagement. By looking at their different “hats” you can see the amount of influence they have in schools.
Data Gatekeeper Hat
The term Data Engagement basically means to use the data to make informed decisions. The data generated can be from state and national testing results. Recently, data is being documented in the areas of absenteeism and behavior as well. They are constantly monitoring student success and progress towards goals, again dealing with data.
Social-Emotional Needs Hat
This is typically what we associate with the role of “counselor”. Counselors are the support our students need to get through their foundational years. Depending on the district or grade level services may look different. Younger groups may benefit from small social groups. Districts may opt to have the counselor teach a whole class lesson as well. This may be a requirement to classify counselors to “teacher” status or it may also be a data-based decision that students need guidance lessons. Such lessons teach important skills such as kindness or bullying. With high rates of suicide, schools (with the assistance from their counselors) may even be looking at this data to help their students.
Graduation and College Hat
If the counselor is in middle school or high school this consumes most of their time. The goal of education is to graduate! This role goes hand in hand with that of helping students decide after high school plans. Helping students obtain financial aid and scholarships is another task often placed on the shoulders of counselors. Looking at trends and graduation rates may often lead to additional programs or support offered in schools.
Anything Else You Need Me to do Hat
We rely on our counselors for many aspects of our teaching day. From removing a defiant student to creating a celebration for 100% attendance. They are the glue that holds the school together and the safety net for our at risk students.
For a guidance counselor, there is not a “typical day”. They are on the go the moment they step through the doors and are constantly putting on different “hats” and analyzing data. They are often looking at programs and resources for their schools. These decisions are based on the data. We rely on our counselors’ expertise in data engagement to help our students get through the day!
Looking for ways to reach this influential role? Reach out today to get started!