Welcome to Mrs. Sawyer's School Counseling website!
School Counseling FAQ's: What exactly do you do? Every day is different! That's one of the things I enjoy about my job. On a typical day, I visit anywhere from two to four classrooms and provide 50 minute classroom guidance lessons for students in grades Kindergarten through 5th grade. We focus on many different topics throughout the year, including bullying, life skills, internet safety, career exploration, body safety, friendship, etc. The rest of my time is spent providing brief, solution-focused individual counseling to students, small group counseling, and responding to crises within the building. I am also the Student Support Team chair, so I lead those meetings weekly. (More on that below) I also consult with teachers, parents, and other support staff to help meet the needs of students.
Do elementary students really need a school counselor? I get this question a lot, and the answer is ABSOLUTELY. Children can have many of the same mental health issues adults have. School counselors help children to cope with life's issues, learn to solve their own problems, communicate with others, and handle big feelings. In the world we live in today, children are seeing and hearing more from outside influences than ever before. This can be a tough thing for them to navigate alone.
What do you do in a counseling session? It depends. Some students just need someone to vent their feelings to for a minute, and then they feel better and head back to class. Others are in the middle of a crisis situation and need a lot more help and attention. Sometimes we draw, sometimes we play, sometimes we do games/activities, and sometimes we just talk. A school setting does not allow me to provide intensive, long-term services, so if I feel that might be helpful for a student, I will consult with the parent and provide outside resources. Do you diagnose students? No. I am not a medical professional. I do, however, provide parents with outside resources to assist in getting a student the help they might need. I am an advocate for all students, and do my best to support and help them any way that I can.
What is Student Support Team?As a district, we use a multi-tiered system of supports to aid in the prevention of academic and behavioral concerns. When a student is struggling academically or behaviorally, a Student Support Team meeting is scheduled to provide personalized interventions for the student in need. I serve as the Student Support Team (SST) chair. The SST can be made up of the school counselor, the teacher, parents, the school psychologist, and administration, depending on the needs of the student.