How School Counselors Function as Leaders

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

School counselors are vital members of the educational leadership team. This lesson will discuss how school counselors function as leaders and will end with a quiz to test what you have learned.

What Is a School Counselor?

School counselors are highly trained professionals. Most school counselors have a background in both education and counseling. They are held to the highest ethical and professional standards because they work in schools with students, parents, school staff, and the surrounding community. The main goal of school counselors is student success. Providing leadership to those they serve is a critical aspect of the work done by school counselors.

Counselors as Leaders

What does it mean to be a leader? Think about people in your life who have influenced you in some way. Perhaps you envision a parent who taught you right from wrong. Maybe you recall a friend who led you down the wrong path a time or two. Each of these examples represents leadership. In short, leaders make a powerful impression on people and make them want to listen.

Create Awareness

School counselors serve as leaders in schools. This positive leadership role takes on many different forms. For example, school counselors may create awareness among students about issues like diversity. Students then follow the lead of school counselors by being more accepting of differences among people. This is just one small example of how school counselors serve as leaders to students in schools.

Meet Students' Needs

School counselors frequently work with other staff to ensure that the needs of the students are being met in the best possible way. This means that the school counselors serve in leadership roles with the administrators and teachers in a school. Specifically, school counselors may show teachers how to help struggling students. They may demonstrate to administrators how to deal more effectively with disruptive behavior among students. School counselors often demonstrate collaboration for staff members so that the team of educators works well together to meet the needs of students.

Encourage Community Participation

The community surrounding a school frequently benefits from the leadership role of school counselors. Student counselors may organize community events designed to rally students and neighbors toward a common cause. School counselors also help create opportunities in the community for students to volunteer and work. This helps students and the community at large. In short, school counselors are often liaisons between the school, students, and the surrounding area.

Work with Families

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