ABOUT THE GUIDANCE DEPARTMENT
Guidance services are an integral part of the school program. Counselors serve as liaison persons for parents and students with teachers and administrators. Middle School counseling is also a unique opportunity to guide early adolescent students through challenging years of development. We are excited to have this opportunity to assist in the educational development of your child as a component of the student/school/home team.
WHAT DOES A COUNSELOR DO?
As guidance counselors we provide various services to students and parents including:
- Promoting positive self-esteem and attitudes throughout the student body
- Aiding teachers and parents in helping students achieve their highest potential
- Assisting students with concerns and issues that are related to the natural process of “growing up!”
- Coordinating the efforts of other school specialists such as teachers, school psychologists, etc.
- Providing a safe environment for students where they can express their concerns
WHAT ARE MIDDLE SCHOOLERS LIKE?
As children grow, they begin to experience physical, intellectual, and emotional changes. The way they learn, feel, see the world, and relate to other people becomes different from when they were younger. These changes, along with demands from present-day society and peer pressure, create conflicts and tension in the adolescent, which are reflected in their behavior in school and at home. Young people at this age show a good number of contradictions and conflicts, which is normal. There is no “model” adolescent. All young persons are individuals with strong and weak points and with positive and negative qualities. There are some common characteristics that should be kept in mind in order to understand and help the middle schooler in daily activities at home and at school:
- Adolescents have high levels of physical and emotional energy, which may contrast with long periods of idleness, generally disapproved of by adults.
- They take risks, are curious, and love danger and adventure, yet their feelings can be hurt easily. This is the time when they feel immortal, but they worry a lot about what their friends think about them.
- They want to be independent from their families, and at the same time, they need to be pampered and protected.
- They withdraw and want a private life, and at the same time, they worry about being accepted by their peers.
- They demand privileges but avoid responsibilities. At the same time, they are developing an awareness of social problems and the welfare of others.
Adolescents from other cultures sometimes face an additional burden as they develop their identities and try to comply with the requirements of home and school. On one side, they have the values and customs of the home that the family wants to maintain, and on the other, they have to respond to the demands of their peers and teachers, who have a different set of rules.