EXPECTATIONS OF A COUNSELLOR AT ST. COLUMBA'S SCHOOL
Why have a Counsellor at St. Columba’s?
Counsellors are key members of the staff in a school. Their purpose is to observe, listen and engage with the school community (students, staff and parents) in the endeavor to help especially students, but to a significant extent teachers and where necessary parents, live integrated and holistic lives, conducive to the growth of all.
It is hoped that the Counselor at St. Columba’s School be
- Professionally qualified
- Take opportunities to regularly refresh his / her knowledge and skills
- Will be approachable and have good relational skills
- Be observant and proactive – sensing where he / she could be of help. Engaging with students and teachers to help them better cope with school life and relationships and so cultivate positive awareness and behavior patterns.
- Be a team player and willing to go the extra mile.
- He / she will be expected to be available for counseling purposes outside of class hours also
- He / she will also take certain duties from time to time, so that the Counselor is acquainted with the circumstances in which the children relate to each other and to the school environment, and will notice the students as they interact with each other. In case the counselor feels that such duties are taking away from his / her main purpose, he / she may discuss the same with the principal/ headmistress, who will take a final decision in the matter. Such duties will also be given to the Counselor that enable the counselor to establish an easy relationship with the students and to create an atmosphere that the students feel inclined to meet with the counselor.
- The Counselor will be expected to engage with all classes (as a whole) during which time the counselor will do general topics related to the students’ personal or social psychological well-being. These classes will be assigned to the Counselor by the Headmistress. While these classes may be held during a period where a regular teacher may be absent, the Headmistress will endeavour to assign the Counselor different classes so that he / she meets with all students on a rotational basis and gets to know them and they get to know him / her. This will, hopefully establish a good rapport between the counselor and the students.
- Individual Students will only meet the counselor with the permission of the Principal / Headmistress / Administrator. Teachers or members of the staff are NOT to send students directly to the Counselor. This is to safeguard the position of the counselor being exploited – he / she will not be a person to whom everyone or anyone sends any student that he / she is having a difficulty with.
- Members of the Staff will make appointments to meet the Counselor, with the permission of the Principal or the Headmistress/Administrator, to discuss matters relating to student-relationship and student well-being.
- The counselor will keep a confidential log and record of all individual counseling sessions.
- The Counselor will update the Principal / Headmistress / Administrator regularly (at least once a week) on the welfare of the students (general and individual). A record which safeguards the confidentiality of the individual will be given to the Principal of all individual counseling endeavours.
- The counselor will give regular (one per session) inputs to staff on matters relevant to the psychological well-being of the students.
- The counselor will only take non-SCS persons for counseling with the written permission of the Principal of the school, even if these interactions occur outside working hours.
- The Counsellor will keep the same working days and timings as the school administrative staff.
An Enunciation of the Duties of a Counsellor at St. Columba’s in the light of the “Spirit” and “Expectations” (This is an open ended documentation).
- Taking the regular “Relationship with Life” classes and group counseling sessions in VE and any other period.
- Assisting in Punching marks whenever required, collection of money, Invigilation – Unit Test, Term Exam., Vocab. Test, Quiz etc. Also taking attendance if Class Teacher is on leave.
- Guiding boys in life skills.
- Arranging workshops for parents across the board, at least on per term.
- Taking the substitution periods – during which the counsellor will continue “Relationship with life” classes. Every attempt will be made to ensure that the counsellor meets all students in each class in a regular and equitable manner.
- Assisting teachers in selecting prefects.
- Maintaining discipline in the corridors after break/sending out boys for assemblies.
- Age appropriate workshops for students.
- Special pertinent workshops for students – (drugs, smoking, alcohol)
- Special assemblies, Extra-curricular activities etc.
- Being part of team involved in Selection of Columban of the year – and other Awards.
- To accompany students of various trips and programmes.
- Helping in any event as part of the team.
- Weekly planner and monthly detailed reports.
- Group-Counselling as per the time-table for main stream as well as for all the students of the Enrichment Centre.
- Individual (need-based) counseling, priority being given to those from low eco-background.
- Home visits, (without which we can never understand where the child is coming from) accompanied by other team members, through the entire year. Do not go alone ever.
- Counselling and guidance to members of the staff insomuch as it impacts the work place.
- Comprehensive Sexuality Education for all classes. This is becoming increasingly important in today’s troubling scenario.
- Additional portfolio/s should the need arise.
- Career counseling-with assistance from resource persons for both parents and students towards the latter part of the final semester.
- Maintaining the strictest confidentially as befits the role of counselor.
- Since the aim of all education is the spiritual growth of the child, counselors are expected to avoid any fundamentalism in their own religious attitude and that towards other religions.