Celebrated from February 6-10th, National Counseling Week centers on the significant contributions of school counselors. The week-long event highlights the impact counseling professionals can have on student achievement, dropout rates, and the academic and professional success of students. The theme provided this year by the ASCA (American School Counselor Association) is "School Counselors: Helping Students Be Brilliant." Schools across the nation are bringing this theme to life by holding a variety of events and ceremonies that develop awareness and honor professionals in the field.
Develop Awareness of Counseling Services
School counselors’ responsibilities and contributions to their school communities vary almost as widely as the school communities across the United States themselves. Their roles range from personal, academic, and professional guidance and support services. This special week presents a unique opportunity to become better acquainted with the support services available to students in your school, as well as a chance to share this information with kids.
School Counselors may:
- Help students identify and examine their strengths, talents, abilities and interests
- Partner with educators to support students’ academic success
- Provide feedback, guidance, and support to students throughout the year
- Provide information on career and college opportunities
- Facilitate school to home partnerships
Ways to Celebrate National School Counseling
There are many wonderful and engaging ways to incorporate National School Counseling into the curriculum and events of the school year. Activities can focus on a variety of topics including, but not limited to, student achievement, safe schools, multiculturalism, human rights, parent and family involvement, child advocacy, and community development through collaborations and partnerships. These topics can be explored through:
- Morning announcements
- Awards Ceremonies for students and education professionals
- Literature Circles or Book Clubs
- School or community wide ad campaigns designed by students
- Discussion Groups; a school I had the pleasure of observing had their counselors offer open sessions on a range of topics. Students were able to choose which sessions they wanted to visit and in choosing they also were able to get a broader sense of the resources at their disposal.
Thank Your Counselors
No celebration of National Counseling would be complete without recognizing the individuals that make such a difference in student’s lives. There are many wonderful ways to express gratitude. Creating thank you cards or projects to share with school counselors can also be a wonderful way to open a communication channel between students and counselors. My students have always found school administrators and staff more approachable for comments and questions after an introduction to their role in the school.
Some possible thank you activities include:
- Making cards
- Creating recordings or multimedia thank you’s such as powerpoints, videos, or songs
- Presenting certificates
Resources for Celebrating National Counseling Week
The clean and simple design of this blank certificate makes it easy to print and show thanks to the counselors in your school. It could also be decorated or signed by multiple students within the borders.
National Counseling Week Poster
Smiling teens beam on this poster that promotes National Counseling Week. The poster does not include dates so it could be reused over the years after being printed.
Morning Announcements for National Counseling Week
This handout includes weekly announcements celebrating National Counseling Week. There is an announcement for each day of the week.