School counselors don’t get enough credit for all the work they do. These professionals listen to students’ problems and develop plans that can help them be successful in the future. They work to examine and assess any potential or skills students may have, and they help boost their self-esteem and well-being. They work with children daily, helping them build life skills and character development. This piece will discuss how school counselors can help at-risk students develop a bright future for themselves.
Listen & Be Supportive
School counselors must listen to at-risk youth because there’s a chance they don’t get that at home. Some at-risk youth may feel dismissed by adults because of their behavior. As a result, it’s even more crucial to listen to these children’s problems and let them know they’re supported. Counselors need patience, tolerance, the ability to be non-judgmental, and good interpersonal skills.
You need to start in elementary school to have children begin to set realistic goals.
The dropout rate among at-risk youth is incredibly high. Part of the reason for this is that these students haven’t laid out concrete plans for themselves. They don’t believe they’re capable of being successful in the future; this is where school guidance counselors come into play. These professionals should help these children develop attainable goals so that they look forward to their next steps in life. Counselors can start small to help students realize that they can do what they set their minds to. Then, the goals can become harder and harder to push the student toward success.
Many students believe they’ll always be stuck where they’re at. This mentality stems from a lack of support at home and a lack of confidence. By setting goals with them, counselors can give these children the support they need to be successful in the future.
Establish a Peer Leader System
One of the best ways counselors can influence students’ success is by establishing a peer leader system. After all, the counselor can’t be with the child at all times. Creating a peer mentoring program will allow them to see how other students behave and what makes them successful. The children may even become friends, and the relationship will have a positive impact on the at-risk youth’s life.
Work With Other Educators
Yes, the school counselor plays a significant role in the at-risk youth’s success. However, in order for the child to truly thrive, the entire school should make a comprehensive plan to ensure everyone’s on the same page. The school counselor should sit down with educators and let them know what they’re working on. Perhaps the counselor will have advice on how to help the student manage stress in the classroom. Additionally, the counselor may be able to offer teaching techniques that’ll help the student learn better. After all, every student learns differently, and counselors have special insight into how a child absorbs knowledge.
At-risk youth may not have the best home life. However, if a student is to be successful, the counselor’s plan needs to be followed in all aspects of life—including at home. Counselors should call parents on a regular basis to keep them informed of their child’s progress. During these phone calls, counselors can also share techniques with the parents that will help kids deal with stress and anger. If the parents agree, these regular phone calls can become in-person meetings. Hopefully, these meetings will help the parents and counselor facilitate a positive plan for the child’s future.
Get Them Involved in School Culture
At-risk youth often feel depressed and dissociated because they see their lives as being so different from other students. Here, school counselors can help kids feel more connected by encouraging them to participate in school activities. By participating in more school-related activities, at-risk youth will feel like they’re a part of a larger community and that their participation matters.
Hold Them Accountable
School counselors can also help at-risk students prepare for the future by holding them accountable. Since these kids might not have the support system that others do, they may be more likely to fall through the cracks. It’s a school counselor’s responsibility to ensure these kids stay on top of their goals. Perhaps create a plan and timeline of how long it should take the child to complete each task. The more accountable the counselor holds the student, the better off they’ll be in the future.
Introduce Evidence-Based Life Skills Lessons
Finally, school counselors can help at-risk youth by introducing them to evidence-based life skills lessons. School counselors can get character development lesson plans for elementary students that’ll serve the social and emotional needs of students. These life skills lesson plans will help counselors facilitate behavior change.
The Arise Foundation has over 35 years of experience in helping educators assist at-risk youth. Our goal is to help these children become the best versions of themselves and help the educators teach valuable life skills to help at-risk children and youth succeed and thrive in today’s world. The Arise Foundation has life skill lessons for elementary school, middle school, and high school.
In many cases, school counselors are the only trustworthy people in at-risk youth’s lives. Since they play such an essential role in a young person’s life, school counselors should be equipped with the right tools to help the students be as successful as possible. For this reason, school counselors should contact The Arise Foundation right away. Again, we’re here to be an ally for those willing to help children from troubled backgrounds.
Our knowledge, combined with a counselor’s experience, will ensure the child is successful later in life. For a child to be prosperous, multiple people have to work together to form a team that the child can depend on. School counselors should be the leader of that team because they’re given the unique opportunity to listen and learn from the children themselves. With the right team behind them, any student from any background can thrive. This article has skillfully shown how school counselors can help at-risk students be productive members of society.