Sunday, January 27, 2013

Building Leadership Capacity the Professional School Counselor Way

Today's School Counselor has a tough job for a multitude of reasons, but we also have the skills & ability to be courageous change agents for ourselves & those we serve. We must build leadership capacity in order to effectively meet our programmatic goals.

Now is a pivotal time for us to support one another in educating the world about all of the possibilities that can be realized if all school counselor's stick to their craft.

We need:
  • Comprehensive Programs in all schools
  • More RAMP Programs in rural areas
  • More professional development support for school counselor's
  • Improved education for school administrators on how to utilize the services of professional school counselor's
  • Reduced counselor:student ratios (1:250 or less)
In order for school counselor's to build leadership capacity, our role in the schools must first be better understood.

Take some time during National School Counseling week (Feb. 4-8, 2013) to share information with your administration, faculty, staff, parents and students about what school counselor's can do.

Here are some great resources:

The Role of the Professional (ASCA)
What Does a School Counselor Do? (School Tube)
What School Counselors Do (USF)
Why You Should Celebrate National School Counseling Week (Patrick O'Connor)
The Column to Pass Along to Your Principal (Patrick O'Connor Ph.D)

As you work towards strengthening that collaborative dialogue you can also continue to build your leadership capacity.

There are many ways to build leadership capacity, see page 13 of the ASCA National Model (3rd Ed.), but there is one aspect of this process that is essential in every school in America.

Professional School Counselor's must use data as a guide to tell the story about student needs.

As you gather and analyze your school data, also contemplate this reflective statement:

"When I encounter barriers that might impede student success, I..."

See page 13 of the ASCA National (3rd Ed.) for more details on this process.

Creating and polishing our professional identity as School Counselor's can be daunting, especially when we are faced with the past (the "G" word) and our current reality, but being courageous change agents is part of what we do, and building our own leadership capacity is necessary as we make progress in our profession.

So what do you do when you encounter barriers that might empede student success? Please leave your comments below to help others grow.

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