The mission of the elementary school counselors in the MSD of Martinsville school district is to provide a comprehensive program addressing the areas of academics, social/emotional support, and career development for students in grades K-4. This mission is accomplished through the development of a positive, supportive environment that encourages students to be successful in their learning and future productive members of society.
The elementary school counselors provide ALL students with support through several avenues including one-on-one meetings, group instruction, and classroom guidance. The goal of these interventions is to promote learning in an environment that is safe and engaging to the student. School counselors collaborate intentionally with teachers and school personnel to develop the best plan possible for each student.
School counselors also work cooperatively with community stakeholders including parents, community representatives, and others involved in promoting student success to create positive relationships between the school, students, and community.
School counselors are dedicated to providing opportunities for academic, career, and personal/social development for all students.
We meet individually with students to address current stressors and situations, teach social skills, increase self-esteem, learn new ways to cope, manage emotions, and more. Students may be referred by staff, parents, or they may self-refer. We maintain confidentiality with our students.
We provide small group instruction for students who face similar concerns. Small groups provide a safe and caring environment for students to share emotions and acquire the skills necessary for learning. Permission is requested before students begin working in group counseling.
We present developmentally appropriate and preventative classroom lessons to promote social and emotional learning, academic skills, and career development.
We work with administration, staff, parents, and community organizations to ensure the students’ needs are being met. We consult to explore strategies and interventions that best serve the student. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if there is any way we can support your child here at school.
We support students and their families through providing school and community resources for additional assistance and information.
In addition, we closely monitor testing and attendance data, provide informational workshops for parents, work with families to coordinate 504 plans, serve on the school’s RTI committee, attend professional development events to stay up to date on current trends and interventions in school counseling, and collaborate with other counselors in the school district.
When parents are involved and engaged in their child’s education, they are more likely to succeed. Parental involvement is linked to higher grades, better attendance, and an overall stronger parent/child relationship. Here are some ways you can help your student achieve academically:
Children experience a wide range of emotions, as adults do. However, unlike adults, children may not understand how to regulate the difficult emotions that they face. Remember these tips as you help your child recognize and express their emotions:
As adults, we hear “get it together” or “settle down” and we know how to do it. However, just like everything else, kids needs to be taught the skills to help them do that. Coping skills are strategies we can use or activities we can engage in to change our feelings and our thoughts. We can’t always change our situations, but we can do things to help us manage the feelings and thoughts we have about situations.
Communication is Key!
It’s important to take the time in your day to have conversations with your child. Whether it’s on the way to school, at the dinner table, or as you tuck them in to bed, touching base with your child will help them remember how much you care.
Here are some phrases you may add into your vocabulary to help facilitate these conversations:
Remember that every child is different in how they choose to communicate, and you know your child best.
See how important parent involvement is here
Career and College Exploration
The desired outcomes of career and college exploration at the elementary level are:
As counselors we reach these outcomes by prioritizing the following in a child’s education:
Awareness of self: Career Exploration
Students at the K-4 level should begin exploring what kinds of careers interest them most. The best way to explore is through exposure. Exposure can be done in several ways:
Dreaming without limits: Broadening the view of the working world
At this age level students should be encouraged to explore all kinds of careers including professional and trade careers. Students are the expert at what makes them interested so it is best to listen to were their career attention lies.
Encouraging creativity: Incorporating career interests into their day-to-day lives
Students should be encouraged to explore their career interests through using them as inspiration in their lives. This can be done through:
Reaching for their dreams: Instilling confidence and belief in ability
The number one motivator to future career and college success in confidence in ability. A student begins developing this confidence and belief at a young age. Consequently, it is important for educators, counselors, and parents to give their students positive encouragement in their school work and career interests.
Start preparing for college!
It is never too early for students to begin looking into: