Counselors Make Big Impact on Students

Counselors Make Big Impact on Students
Posted on 02/09/2023

Each year during the first full week of February, we take time to appreciate and recognize the important work done by the dedicated counselors in our schools during National School Counseling Week. Now more than ever, our counselors are critical for the wellness of students and staff, and they continue to rise to the occasion to provide necessary support to those who need it. Without our school counselors, the goal of instilling a sense of belonging for each individual who walks through our buildings would not be possible.

Starting in elementary school, counselors help provide the tools our students need to be collaborative teammates, community contributors and responsible decision-makers. They help to ensure the social and emotional wellness of our students in the face of adversity and challenge, and are cheerleaders for our students when they experience success and achievement.

Tahoma’s school counselors are actively engaged in helping students examine their abilities, strengths, interests and talents, and partner with parents as they encounter the challenges of raising children in today’s world. They focus on positive ways to enhance students’ academic, career and social/emotional development and work with teachers and other educators to provide an educational system where students can realize their full potential by setting healthy, realistic and optimistic aspirations for themselves.

School counselors are certified, experienced educators with a master’s degree in school counseling. The combination of their training and experience makes them an integral part of the total educational program.

“I have been positively impacted by my school counselor, Ms. Almli, because she goes above and beyond to create a safe learning environment,” said Victoria C., a seventh-grader at Summit Trail Middle School. “Our counselors help you to work your way up to your goals, while making you feel comfortable, but still challenging you to do the work.”

Ms. Almi and Victoria

“School counselors really want students to thrive with success and happiness,” Victoria said. “They even talked with my outside counselor to know how to best support me with my OCD. My counselor helped me to get back to school in a fun and positive way and connected with my teachers to help me feel happy and comfortable in the environment with all my peers.”

And while one-on-one support is a huge part of the work our school counselors do to support students, they also create group opportunities where students can learn important life lessons.

At Glacier Park Elementary School, school counselor Keri Silvers runs a zero-hour leadership club, where fourth and fifth-grade students get the chance to be peer role models and lead by example.

Glacier Park Leadership Club

Each year, students can apply for a leadership position within the zero hour club. Students are chosen based on their history of showing good decision making and positive choices around campus.

Last year, one fourth grade student applied for a leadership position, but did not yet have the skills needed to be a positive role model. When the student asked how she could improve her skills and become a leader, she worked with Ms. Silvers and Glacier Park Dean, Natalie Goodale, to improve her decision making skills.

“This student is a shining example of what our club is all about,” said Counselor Keri Silvers. “She worked hard to improve her decision making skills, and now she’s one of the top examples of leadership in our club and in our school. We believe that EVERY student is capable of learning and growing.”

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