HARLINGEN — The school counselor mediates.
The school counselor helps with healing.
School counselors also help students with academics, career choices and numerous other aspects of their lives. That’s why the school district is celebrating National School Counselors Week at the local level.
“Our counselors in the district do everything from visit with students regarding social and emotional issues and academic issues,” said Sandra Tovar, director of counseling for the district. “They provide counseling whether it be individual counseling or group,” she said.
“They go in and do classroom presentations. It could be character education, dealing with how to be responsible citizens, how to be honest.”
Counselors also begin introducing children to careers at the elementary level.
“They bring in people to discuss the different careers,” she said. “It’s more of an exploration type. At the middle school level they start to be more specific as far as different careers that are available.”
More individually they help keep students on track with their coursework and possible career pathways.
Different campuses this week are honoring their counselors in different ways.
“Every campus is a little different in how they celebrate their counselors, so you may drive around Harlingen and some of them may have it on their marquee. ‘We love our counselors,’” she said.
“I’ve seen some on social media where they’re promoting the counselor. And it just depends on the administrator what they do for their campuses.”
Tovar has sent out a little “goody” to the district’s counselors, a clipboard with the HCISD logo. As director, she has a different role, but she remembers fondly her years as an elementary counselor and high school counselor.
“What I liked the most about being either is seeing the students succeed and I still enjoy that,” she said.
“As a director, I’m a system of support for all of the counselors in the district. The thing that I enjoy seeing is the students going through the graduation line and seeing that everything we’re doing is making them successful young adults.”
While this gives her and other counselors great joy, it also points to the gravity of their mission.
“I think the most challenging part would be helping our students formulate decisions, help them make good decisions on whatever it is they need help with,” she said.
The 2018 National School Counselor Week is being celebrated through Friday to focus public attention on the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems.
National School Counseling Week, sponsored by ASCA, highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. The week is always celebrated the first full week in February.