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Teacher as Counselor
"The paradox of learning a really new competence is this: that a student cannot at first understand what he needs to learn, can learn it only by educating himself, and can educate himself only by beginning to do what he does not yet understand." - Schon
many teachers feel that subject matter and cognitive learning is the total focus of educators
some teachers feel a sense of mystification about counseling
the role suggests a deeper commitment than many teachers have wanted
counseling is a profession and some schools believe they fill the need by filling the role with trained personnel
receiving counseling has a negative history in our society rather than a portrayal of wholeness and wellness so many community members devalue it as a role
some teachers feel put upon already and resent additional responsibility
the role is considered to be an adjunct, something to be done last if there is time
the philosophy in American Education has developed focus on subject and limited any infringement on that sole pursuit
time for meaningful interaction is limited
privacy is frequently desirable and not available in most school settings
The persons in the street get in my way because I collide with them as possible rivals.
I shall like them as soon as I see them as partners in the struggle
* * *
Where you go, employ all your heart
-The Shu King
Juanita comes quietly into the English class and sits down. Even though Mrs. Brown greets her at the door, she does not smile, and when she gets to her work area she slumps over her folder. Though she gets her material out, she does not begin. Mrs. Brown floats around the room checking on student needs as the individual work progresses. As she gets close to Juanita's desk, Juanita looks up and asks "Mrs. Brown, can I talk with you?" Mrs. Brown nods and walks to the area of the room where there is a little more privacy. Juanita begins,"I didn't sleep much last night. Mom and Dad got into another fight and my mom threw my dad out of the house. My dad got mad and broke the windshield on the car."
At first Mrs. Brown feels uncomfortable and doesn't know that to say of do. Yet, she feels honored that Juanita is seeking her help in dealing with this hurtful and painful situation. Mrs. Brown knows that Juanita is the eldest of five children and she carries much responsibility at home. She begins, "I can see that this is of great concern to you and it makes it difficulty for you to focus on your work. thank you for having the courage to come to me. Let's eat lunch together in the classroom and we can talk about it."
Juanita seems unsure about what to say, then she offers, "I didnāt pack a lunch today, I forgot about eating." Reassuring her that there was plenty for two, Mrs. Brown reached out and took Juanita's hand. "Try to give your heart a rest, and see if any of that work helps distract you," she says as she walks toward the next group of students.
Mrs. Brown's thoughts kept returning to Juanita and the pain she must be feeling. She was a little concerned about the lunch talk. Would she say the right words? Would she help Juanita find a way to deal with this hurtful situation? Would Juanita need to be referred to the district counselor? Uncertain as she felt, Mrs. Brown was determined to maintain open communications with Juanita. Together they would find a way to deal with the reality of Juanita's pain. - Pearl Smith
We have healthy self concepts and possess traits such as empathy, congruence, warmth, compassion, genuineness, unconditional positive regard for self / others
Helpers clarify who is responsible for change and how to facilitate change
We are always interested in finding out about the way people behave
We recognize the many child behaviors are developmental and meet a need, therefore we may change self or environment to meet the individual need rather than changing the child
Helpers recognize human nature and the need and right to positive and negative emotions
Since we recognize limitations of time and role, we frequently help with an immediate crisis or problem and then get appropriate assistance for long term, chronic or deeply involved issues.
We do not counsel the family, but we do share information about good referrals
We grow in ability to counsel others through workshops and training, as available
General Steps in Helping a Student
in which the child can grow as a healthy, whole individual
Conduct a life space interview assisting students to express self and see othersā views. Accept the childās feelings without agreeing to inappropriate behaviors. Analyze problems for solutions using the following steps:
base for the counseling role comes primarily from Personal Power and involves
two types of empowerment, referent power and information power. Referent
power is the attractiveness which the teacher possesses in the eyes of
students and others. The relationship between the teacher and the student
has a major influence on the studentsā behaviors. Information power assists
the teacher in influencing behavior. It is part of the confidence which
students and parents gain as they perceive the teacherās ability to act
as a center of information. Parents and students alike will be amenable
to the teacherās programs if they believe the instructor possesses and
disseminates unbiased information as well as being a valuable resource
when called upon to assist with individual problems and concerns.
you God for this amazing
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|E-mail J'Anne Ellsworth at Janne.Ellsworth@nau.edu|
Course Created by J'Anne Ellsworth & Center for Technology Enhanced Learning
© 2001 Northern Arizona University