Teacher counselling beyond academics

The teacher-student relationships has to be taken to the next level. The teacher-parents communication should be on the regular basis.

Photo of Natalie Vasylenko

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Children spend most of their time at school and at home. So, school can not isolate a child from his family scene and has to be intune with what's going on in the life of their students outside school. It would be nice for students to have a counselor/coach/mentor who meets with them on the regular basis once a week or once in two weeks and discusses academics and life, builds connections and get to know their coachee. Such counseling beyond academics may actually give person an insight about a student related to their progress in school which otherwise would be missed. Nowadays heavily structured school systems successfully list the necessary goals and expectations but fail at recognizing student's unique struggles which make it difficult for them to fit in the frame of goals and expectations. Their is a great range of students disconnected from school and merely accepting it as "the thing that needs to be done". This void can be filled by simple human interactions on behalf of the staff that doesn't emphasise mere academics and longs for recognizing an individual with their scope of struggles and unique circumstances and meeting them where they are in an authentic way.   

As to the teacher-parent communication it also has to been done on regular basis sharing the insights that have been discovered through coaching sessions as well as asking for some out of school happenings that can influence student's performance.    

Share research or student experiences that informed your idea!

The approached described above has been widely used at Academy of Thought and Industry https://thoughtandindustry.com/. It has proven to build solid communities of parents, students and staff which in return reflected on student academic performance as well as help teenagers to cope with social and personal issues that are common for their age.


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Photo of Lusmaia Diaz

Thanks for sharing this! Your idea really attempts to meet the student where they specifically are. Family engagement doesn't have a strict recipe-- and acknowledging specific student conditions can change the way we engage! Excited for this idea to flourish!

Photo of Natalie Vasylenko

Thank you :)

Photo of Travis Burke

I love this idea and was fortunate enough to have a counselor on staff when I was a classroom teacher. She did a lot to connect with students and really build our Social Emotional program into a model that mirrored our academics. As a teacher, I learned so much about how to really get to know my students and learn what they cared about. It made school a place students came to embark on their own journey instead of a thing to get done. Some additional sources to explore are the new text from Nancy Frey and Doug Fisher "All learning is Social and Emotional" and the incredible resources from Lives in the Balance, especially the Collaborative Problem Solving model and the Assessment of Lagging Skills that help teach soft skills and reach our hardest to reach students. Thank you for sharing.

Photo of Natalie Vasylenko

thanks for the resources!

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