The Role of the Guidance Counselor at PPS (an IB School) - Mrs. Meila Johnson
The Role of the Counselor
The primary role of the Counselor is to provide each child with the opportunity to acquire academic, civic and social skills necessary for crossing over to high school. These are skills which will be the foundation to facilitate our children graduating high school and eventually becoming productive citizens, who respect themselves and others.
The Counselor is also the students' advocate, speaking on his/her behalf with the intention of helping the child who is in need of academic, social and emotional assistance.
The Counselor works in collaboration with the Special Needs Co-ordinator, the School Psychologist, the Speech Therapist, The Behavior Specialist as well as teachers and members of the school's senior leaders.
Counselor at PP School design programs and services to meet the needs of our students with a focus on academic, career, and personal/social development. The emphasis is on academic success and healthy socio-emotional development for every student. The counselor IS involved in goal setting, establishing behavioral standards and expectations, providing support services and models for decision making, as well as seeing that all students have opportunities to participate in a wide variety of activities and experiences. Counselors also meet regularly with students in order to provide academic and socio-emotional support, teach study and coping skills, share resources, facilitate conflict resolution, discuss academic and problem solving.
While the counselors' primary focus is on the developmental issues of the students at PPS the role and duties of a counselor range widely and include:
- Providing support to parents, teachers, and staff members.
- Serving as a source of information for and as a facilitator of communication between parents, teachers and staff members.
- Meeting regularly with students individually and in small groups.
- Teaching classroom counseling lessons on a wide range of developmentally appropriate topics
- Assisting in transition activities for students moving on to the high school.
- Monitoring academic progress and facilitating the Maximizing of Academic Potential for all students.
- Providing information and referrals to parents on outside personal and academic resources and support services available.
- Coordinator of a Career Day Exhibition
- Coordinates a Father's Club Program that aims to get fathers more involve in the total welfare of their children.
The Guidance Counselor directly support the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program PPS. They do so through modeling and utilizing the IB Learner Profile in counseling sessions and lessons, participating In Learner Profile assemblies, and overtly modeling and encouraging internationally minded behavior that reflects the IB mission statement.
The Responsibilities of the Counselor for students include:
1. Personal and Individual Counseling
2. Group Counseling
4. Consultation with Parents and Staff
5. Crisis Intervention
6. Parenting Programs
8. Classroom sessions.
During classroom sessions, there is much focus on the Primary Years Programme Attitudes which we would like parents to reinforce at home. Other life skills are taught such as Maintaining Friendships, Conflict Resolution, Building Self Confidence, Improving Communication Skills and Good Hygiene among others.
The 2nd Step Programme is used in the Junior Department. This covers Empathy, Impulse Control and Problem Solving Skills, Anger Management, Peer Pressure and Handling Differences among other topics.
The topic of Puberty is introduced at Year 5 but discussed in gender groups in greater detail at Year 6. This topic is simply a matter of getting our students familiar and comfortable with the correct names of private body parts and preparing them to handle the physical, physiological and emotional changes as well as the responsibilities which come with puberty. Resource personnel will be brought in from time to time to reinforce or assist the Counselor during class sessions.
I invite you to make contact with your School Counselor if there are concerns regarding:
A. A sudden change in your child's behavior or academic achievement.
B. Family issues such as death in the family, separation or divorce.
C. Special needs.
Please note that a child may be referred by a parent, a staff member, a friend, or by himself.
If there are concerns about your child that you need to discuss with the Counselor feel free to make an appointment, but walk ins are accepted if it is an emergency.