Elementary School Students’ Developmental Needs
The elementary years are a time when students begin to develop their academic identity and their confidence as learners grow. They are beginning to develop decision-making, communication and life skills, as well as character values. It is also a time when students develop and acquire attitudes toward school, self, peers, social groups and family. Comprehensive developmental school counseling programs provide education, prevention and intervention services, which are integrated into all aspects of children’s lives. Early identification and intervention of children’s academic and personal/social needs is essential in removing barriers to learning and in promoting academic achievement. The knowledge, attitudes and skills that students acquire in the areas of academic, career and personal/social development during these elementary years serve as the foundation for future success.
Why Elementary School Counselors?
Elementary school years set the tone for developing the knowledge, attitudes and skill necessary for children to become healthy, competent and confident learners. Through a comprehensive developmental school counseling program, school counselors work as a team with the school staff, parents and the community to create a caring climate and atmosphere. By providing education, prevention, early identification and intervention, school counselors can help all children achieve academic success. The professional elementary school counselor holds a master’s degree and required state certification in school counseling. Maintaining certification includes on-going professional development to stay current with education reform and challenges facing today’s students. Professional association membership enhances the school counselor’s knowledge and effectiveness.
Example Supports and Services:
- Academic support, including organizational, study and test-taking skills
- Goal setting and decision-making
- Peer relationships, coping strategies and effective social skills
- Education on understanding of self, including strengths and weaknesses
- Transition plans
- Individual and small-group counseling
- Individual/family/school crisis intervention
- Conflict resolution