The success of all guidance and counseling programs in the school is a collective effort of the school guidance committees and personnels.
Guidance and counseling cannot leave its intended impact on the lives of students and the school at large if it is left to just the counselor.
This is because every child in the school comes in contact with different school personnels at different points in their stay in school and all these personnels leave some level of impact on the child.
If the activities of these personnels are not contributing to that of the guidance counselor, little progress will be made. It becomes even worse if these personnels are working against the school counselors.
Who Are The School Guidance Personnels?
The school guidance personnel include the administrative staff (the principal or headteacher and the heads of departments), the academic staff, parents, the school health personnel, boarding house personnel, and all non-teaching staff.
The main purpose of having the school guidance personnels is to help students, in line with the goals of guidance in schools, to develop their full potential, and become more effective, productive, and useful to themselves and society while becoming happier.
10 Roles of the Headteacher or Principal in Guidance and Counseling
The roles of the headteacher in guidance and counseling in the school include
- Making provision for guidance services on the timetable of each class and seeing that such periods are appropriately used,
- Encouraging teachers to attend workshops and conferences on guidance and counseling,
- Supporting school guidance programs morally, and financially, and providing both physical facilities and qualified personnel,
- Interpreting the school guidance programs to the student, members of staff, parents, and the community in general
- Vigorous administrative leadership for guidance programs
- Encouraging teachers to help students understand the relevance of school subjects to various occupations
- Encouraging teachers to care for and show concern for the well-being, study habits, and behavior of students; as well as ensure that guidance services are integrated into the total educational program of the school
- Encouraging school guidance workers to interact frequently with the school staff, parents, and members of the community so that they may understand the nature and purpose of guidance and their roles in the entire school program
- Encouraging teachers to help students understand their strengths and weaknesses and to encourage teachers to understand students’ worries and problems, encouraging teachers even to help students resolve certain personal problems
- Creating a smooth and favorable emotional climate and environment in the school to promote effective teaching and learning.
10 Roles of Teachers in School Guidance and Counseling
The roles of teachers in guidance and counseling in the school include
- Provision of comprehensive student records to the guidance counselor
- Establishing a friendly and emotionally warm classroom environment for students
- Handling minor class flow distractions like emotional outbursts and referring severe cases to the school counselor
- Assisting in giving orientation to students about how to get the best out of the school system
- Providing information to parents about specific needs of students noticed in class
- Monitoring of student behavior during class hours to notice any improvement or need for intervention by the school counselor
- Relating class instruction to real-life issues so students can learn basic life coping skills from schoolwork
- Responding encouragingly and accurately to questions about life and society asked by students
- Provision of basic career guidance to students through school subject matter
- Assigning tasks to students that can help them discover and develop their potential.
10 Roles of Parents in Guidance and Counseling in Schools
The roles of parents in guidance and counseling in schools include
- Provision of accurate anecdotal records to the school counselor
- Provision of basic care and guidance to their wards toward developing good behavior
- Encouraging their wards to visit the school guidance counselor for counseling-related needs
- Monitoring their student’s progress after they start seeing the counselor and providing feedback to the counselor
- Provision of a supportive and emotionally fertile home for their wards
- Serving as role models to students by living exemplary lives of good behavior
- Giving suggestions for the development of guidance and counseling in the school through the PTA meetings
- Encouraging open communication at home to identify the specific needs of their children
- Receiving feedback from the school counselor and teachers on identified needs of their children and acting as requested
- Provision of financial support in meeting the counseling needs of students like getting relevant books or medication as recommended by the counselor or health personnel.
10 Roles of the School Health Personnel in Guidance and Counseling
The roles of the school health workers in guidance and counseling include
- Provision of up-to-date students’ health records to the school counselor
- Helping to maintain the emotional and psychological well-being of patients
- Provision of physical and mental health-related information to students to avoid breakdowns
- Providing moral support and encouragement to students down with “exam fever”
- Referring patients with serious counseling-related issues to the counselor
- Partnering with the school counselor to influence the school administration to establish supportive structures
- Noticing trends among students from cases brought to the clinic like bullying and relaying such information to the appropriate quarters like the appraisal counseling committee
- Teaching basic first aid skills to the school counselor and teachers
- Collecting and interpreting anecdotal health records from parents needed for counseling purposes
- Assisting the school counselor in cases of shortage of counseling staff.
8 Roles of the Boarding House Personnels in Guidance and Counseling
- Ensuring that the hostels are emotionally fertile and not stress or anxiety-inducing
- Monitoring the students’ behaviors in the hostel and provision of information to the counselor
- Handling minor emergencies that occur in the hostel and referring students to the counselor
- Monitoring and giving extra attention to students undergoing counseling intervention in cases like depression to avoid worse cases like suicide
- Noticing and curbing unhealthy lifestyle habits like insufficient sleep that may affect students’ mental and physical health
- Giving students parental care and encouraging open communication so that they can share issues that will be taken up for intervention
- Provision of generalized guidance to students at hostel assemblies
- Encouraging students to visit the guidance counselor.
7 Roles of the Non-teaching Staff in Guidance and Counseling
- Noticing trends and development among students and relaying vital information to counselors e.g cases of truancy
- Supporting the school guidance committee in organizing guidance programs
- Provision of suggestions to the counselor and school administrators on what could be done to improve guidance services in the school
- Ensuring their different departments are not inducing stress and anxiety in the student
- Encouraging students to visit the school counselor when need be
- Provision of moral support to other guidance personnels
- Commitment to their assigned duties so the school administrators and counselors don’t waste time micromanaging them.
We have so far seen the role of the head teacher, teachers, parents, health personnel, and non-academic staff in guidance and counseling in schools.
If every guidance personnel in the school performs their role and remains proactive to fill up lapses in the school guidance process, guidance and counseling will be very successful in schools.
Olusegun Iyejare is a career coach and certified counselor. He helps individuals discover and maximize their potential to live satisfying lives regardless of obvious limitations holding them back.