Old ways of counseling were guidance counselors. Then went to profession or college counselors. Need to get back where we were. Global mindset for guidance, not silos. Don’t self-select out of one area into another. Intended audience is counselors.
Students think their plan for success is a custom-designed program. They are searching for people to motivate, inspire and drive their passions. That sounds an awful lot like the job of a “Counselor,” doesn’t it? One might think so, but today, counselors have created silos and systems, which insulate them from individualized planning. They have removed the flexibility from creating an atmosphere conducive to student achievement and standardized their role in any possible achievements. For example, if a High School counselor identifies as a career counselor, students with a goal of college THEN career is left to find other resources to support them. We can also reverse the situation if a counselor is a college counselor, where are the students who are interested in a vocation or entrepreneurship expected to go?
Years ago, the title was “Guidance Counselor.” These individuals supported you with direction and input to reach your goals because they were able to identify and counsel students opting for any of multiple directions. In the change that counselors have self-created (from Guidance to College or Career), we have left out the most important piece in developing our students, LEADERSHIP!
Counselors should be the natural leaders of the schools because each student is interested in their future. Our difficulty is that today’s counselors are more likely to select their students into one area or another before learning enough about any one of the students to do them any good.
Counselors are the relationship builders in the schools, we are diverse in the way we think and we communicate to all parties what is best for our schools AND the students. We can counsel the principal regarding the effect of policy implementation, and then the teachers on how to teach at the highest levels to assist students in understanding subject matter and reaching academic goals. As counselors, we bring it all together, as we know (or should know) the student better than anyone and can utilize our personal relationship for the overall success of the student.
As Head Coach and Leadership Specialist at TWG, I can tell you we differentiate ourselves from others right at this very place. We make it personal and all about the student. Students are able to find both their purpose and value through programs we offer. With the ability to experience, reflect and share, together we build towards a common goal of acceptance. Our students learn not only how to live successfully, they learn what it is to thrive and achieve. While many students and parents are looking to achieve academically, through extra exams and high scores on standardized testing, TWG is the differentiator that helps the student to define and express who they are…and that is more critical than us selecting for the student on which track through life they will travel.
About the Author
Alphonce O’Bannon is Business and Motivation Coach. He is the Head Coach at Transitions Lab University Prep School (TLUPS), the founder of the LBA foundation (non profit organization inspire hope in tomorrow’s leaders, believers and achievers.), member of Study Iowa, associated with NACAC, OCACA, ACA and ASCA, and a veteran US Marine Corp