National School Counseling Week 2013, "School Counseling: Liberty and Learning for All," will be celebrated from Feb. 4-8 to focus public attention on the unique contribution of professional school counselors within U.S. school systems.
National School Counseling Week, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association, highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. National School Counseling Week is always celebrated the first full week in February.
Perhaps some of us can remember when the role of the school counselor appeared to be to hand you a college catalogue - provided your counselor had the time or even cared. In many schools years ago, school counseling was often regarded as an "add-on" position, like yearbook advisor.
Thankfully, times have changed.
Practically all school districts have come to realize the value of school counselors in preventing dropout and truancy rates, in helping students reach their fullest potential and, yes, helping prepare them for college. Beyond that, though, school counselors have tackled such issues as teen pregnancy and its prevention, drug abuse, bullying and ensuring that all students are treated fairly, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation.
This has happened through myriad efforts, from state departments of education to parents, from school boards to teachers, and most particularly, from school counselors themselves.
Despite the headlines, schools for the most part are safer for students than they used to be, thanks to zero-tolerance policies aimed at protecting students.
And it's school counselors who are at the forefront of implementing and enforcing these policies.
So if you haven't lately, thank your school counselor for the job he or she is doing at your local school. It's not an easy job, but chances are that it's getting done - and done well.