What is a school counselor?

School counselors should be on your list of people you can turn to when you need help. They know how to listen and can help kids with life's challenges. Counselors have special training in how to help kids solve problems, make decisions, and stand up for themselves. That doesn't mean your counselor will wave a magic wand and the problem will go away. But it does mean he or she will help you cope with it. Coping is an important word to know. Sometimes, kids and grown-ups have difficult problems. Coping means that someone is trying to handle these problems and make things better. Your school counselor is available for you and wants to make your school experience the best it can.

Why do I need or want to talk to the counselor?

You may want to talk to the counselor if you have any personal or academic concerns, for example:

  •      “I’m new here and I’m having trouble making friends.”
  •      “I’m having a hard time in class and I’m afraid to talk to the teacher.”
  •      “My parents and I argue a lot about homework.”

Will the Counselor Keep a Secret?

It's important to know that if you meet with a guidance counselor, your conversation will be confidential. The counselor isn't going to go blabbing your personal business around the school. However, there are some cases when a counselor can't keep it confidential — if the counselor thinks that you or someone else is at risk of being harmed. But even then, the counselor would share that information only with people who need to know.

Am I in trouble if I see the counselor?

Of course not!  But the counselor can be a means of intervention that prevents you from having to see the Principal.

How do I request to see the counselor?

Go into the office. On the left side wall, there is a cubby labeled Counselors Referral slips titled “Student Self Referral Form.” Fill out the form with as much information as possible, and place the form in the counselor’s box. Remember, these slips are confidential and are only read by the counselors.

What Will the Appointment Be Like?

The most common setting to meet with a counselor is in a private meeting. The meeting could be just you alone, or other students, your teacher, or your parent could be there. Counselors have offices where you can sit down and talk.

Don't worry that you need to know exactly what's bothering you when you talk with the school counselor. You may just be feeling bad or not doing as well in school as you know you can — and that's OK. The counselor will try to help you figure out what's going on. When you do, he or she will have ideas for how to make things better. Sometimes that means finding other people (tutors, learning specialists, or therapists) who can provide the help you need.