National School Counseling Week

The first full week of February is National School Counseling Week, this year it takes place from February 6-10. The work of a school counselor is of the utmost importance, they not only help students navigate their academic journey, but also offer social emotional support.

The 2023 theme is “School Counselors: Helping Students Dream Big.” By encouraging their students to dream big, counselors can empower children to focus on higher visions of life and change their current reality. Dreaming can be transformational.

As stated in, “Over the years, the roles and responsibilities of school counselors have matured and evolved; today, they’re an integral part of the total education system.”

School Counselors:

  • Are good listeners, students can talk to them about almost anything, without judgement.
  • Help students with social emotional issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and addiction.
  • Identify and report possible cases of neglect or abuse.
  • Work with students to develop skills such as organization, time management, and effective study habits.
  • Help students set realistic academic and career goals and develop a plan to achieve them.
  • Develop strategies with teachers, administrators, and parents to help students succeed.
  • Teach classes on topics such as bullying, drug abuse, and planning for college.

A good school counselor builds a relationship with his/her students and connects with them in such a way that they are often the only person to whom students confide in. In many cases, they are also advocates for their students. A school counselor is empathetic, discreet, patient, compassionate and encouraging.

These individuals have a tremendous impact on students’ lives. Their guidance and support influence a student’s decisions, from stress management techniques to choosing a career or university to attend.  

The need for school counselors keeps growing, the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) recommends that schools maintain a ratio of 250 students per school counselor, nevertheless the national average student-to-school-counselor ratio is 464 to 1. The more access students have to school counselors, the better they perform. National School Counseling Week brings awareness to the need for these professionals.

School counselors play a vital role in helping students figure out their career plans.

Ideas for schools to celebrate National School Counseling Week:

Monday – Share Study Tips

Post on your school’s social media or read over the intercom 5 habits that can help a student perform better in school/do better in tests.

Tuesday – Career Day

Set up a booth with information about different universities and careers. Make it fun; have a questionnaire or game for students to start thinking about what they want to be when they grow up. Share pictures in your school social media or bulletin boards showcasing some of the past jobs of school personnel.

Wednesday – Social Emotional Health

Visit classrooms to talk about the importance of mental health. Set up a box where students can drop a “Let It Out!” note where they can write about what is bothering them.

Thursday – Stress Busters

Post on your school’s social media tips for reducing stress and examples of simple breathing exercises. Have an all-school assembly to share information and practice some of those techniques.

Friday – Time Management and Organization

Have students create posters where they share time management and organization skills, encourage them to be creative: use magazines, pictures, drawings. Hang them in the school hallways for everyone to see.