What is a School Counselor?
School counselors are professional educators with a mental health perspective giving them ability to understand and respond to the challenges presented by today’s diverse student population. School counselors align with the school’s mission, supporting the academic achievement of all students as they prepare for the ever-changing world of the 21st century. School counselors do not work in isolation, they collaborate with parents, teachers, administrators, students and the community.
The School Counseling Program
Through a comprehensive, developmental school counseling program, school counselors work alongside school staff, parents and the community to create a caring, supportive climate where students can achieve academic success. School counselors promote academic achievement and school counseling programs are essential for students to achieve optimal personal growth, acquire positive social skills and realize the full academic potential needed to become productive, contributing members of the community. The professional school counselor holds a master’s degree and required state certification in school counseling.
Junior High School Students' Developmental Needs
Junior High age students face unique and diverse challenges, both personally and developmentally, that have an impact on academic achievement. As a result, students need support, guidance and opportunities during adolescence.
Junior High is not only an exciting time in the life of a young person, but a challenging time for as well. Those challenges often extend to their parents and teachers as well. During this transition from childhood to adolescence, junior high school students are characterized in a variety of ways, including:
- A need to explore a variety of interests
- The desire to connect their classroom learning to its practical application in life and work
- High levels of activity along with frequent fatigue due to rapid growth
- A search for their own unique identity as they begin turning more frequently to peers rather than parents for ideas and affirmation;
- Extreme sensitivity to the comments from others
- Heavy reliance on friends to provide comfort, understanding and approval.