Intro to School Counseling

Introducing: The Elementary School Counselor

There are three main thoughts I begin with when I work with children at school:  "I care about you," "How can I help?,"  and "What do you need to learn?"  I work with all students in school to help them develop academically, personally, and socially.  Counselors help students do better in school, build positive self-images, enjoy good relationships with others, and develop good feelings about school, work, family and the community.

I work with students on an individual, group and classroom basis.  The counseling method differs with the student, situation, etc..  Individually, a guidance counselor meets with a child on a one-to-one basis.  In a safe, quiet setting, children are encouraged to discuss and/or role play their feelings and opinions about school, friends, or problems they are having.  The counselor seeks to understand the child's needs and points of view and to give understanding, support and constructive suggestions for solving problems.  Because much of childhood learning and problem-solving takes place in a group, and children are in a classroom group all day, focused group counseling is  part of an effective guidance program.  Counseling groups may use directed group discussion, art, games or unstructured play in addition to various counseling techniques. These activities help children understand others, improve communication skills and learn to cooperate and solve problems together.  In the classroom, I also work with larger groups delivering curriculum geared to a specific purpose.  Within the Rivendell Interstate School District, I teach the Second Step Anti-Violence Prevention Program, Social Thinking, Sexual Abuse Prevention and Career Exploration in 1/2 hour lessons once a week in each classroom.  

Counselors also work with parents to help parents understand how to help their children achieve their fullest academic, social and emotional potential.  By working together, parents and counselors can share thoughts on abilities, goals, behavior, and the unique needs of each child.  Counselors are also available to support parents in their role as parents regarding home issues.

How to get started?  Contact me in person at school, or use the telephone or email.  You can tell me what is going on for your child, and ask me if there is anything I can do to help.  Chances are, there is!  All children and parents may access the school counselor, at any time, for any reason.  You don't even need to have a problem to say hello.  Get to know your school counselor.  Your support and cooperation can help make your child's school years a rewarding experience.

-Mrs. Ann O'Hearn, Elementary School Counselor