Guidance Counselors

Written by Rachel Arieff
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Guidance counselors typically help high school students with the many and often bewildering choices they must confront in their entrance to adulthood. Issues such as what courses to study, what colleges to apply to, and what future careers may interest these students are key for high school counselors. Because these students are merely adolescents, their choices can seem either overwhelming or too far off in the future to be real.

Guidance counselors must help these teenage students understand the significance of these decisions. Of course, not all students have difficulty grasping these issues. Some come from families that successfully prepare them to start thinking of their future early on. However, it is often the case that to many students, concerns about the future are nothing more than an abstraction.

What Makes Good Guidance Counselors?

For this reason, high school counselors must have excellent communication skills and be very good at relating to teenagers. This is perhaps the hardest part about being a guidance counselor. For whatever reason, many otherwise excellently-trained people, with a wealth of knowledge and insight at their disposal, simply can't make that connection to the younger generation. This is why there is always a call for talented and well-trained guidance counselors.

Besides helping students decide on courses and potential careers, a good guidance counselor will endeavor to understand each student personally in order to help him or her with these choices. How does that student tend to think about these issues? What motivates that student? What are his or her interests, strengths and weaknesses? A good counselor will get to know the answers to all these questions in order to tailor counseling to each student's needs, thereby ensuring the greatest success.

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