What Does a School Counselor Do?

“What does a School Counselor do all day?” Have you ever heard this question? Or perhaps, “It must be nice to play all day!” While the school counseling profession has made amazing strides in developing a new professional identify (guidance), I know many of us still get these kinds of questions and comments. Personally, I try my best to let these roll off my back and provide a positive, upbeat, but professional response but letting others know that counselors do not just “play all day,” and we certainly aren’t just schedulers! 
If you’re looking for a great in-depth discussion of your role as a school counselor to share with others, I highly suggest logging in to ASCA and utilizing the amazing publications they have on this topic! I find this document outlining the essential role of the elementary School Counselor particularly helpful – it’s a quick 2-page reference that is great to have on hand to share with administrators and stakeholders. If you’re working on advocating for appropriate use of your time, check out this document comparing appropriate and inappropriate duties for School Counselors
For quick reference, I put together this simple visual aid explaining what the development of core curriculum involves, and what tasks fall under individual student planning, responsive services, and indirect services:  

5 thoughts on “What Does a School Counselor Do?

  1. As a (retired) PA educator I’m a bit confused by the “core curriculum” band. Counselors develop and deliver curricula? I thought national and state content-specific administrators, politicians, and teachers determined core/standards and then those standards were developed into curricula by educators. I’d love to understand this graphic better. Thank you.

    1. All school counselors are trained to deliver counseling core curriculum that is not at all shaped by politicians. We are trained to analyze schoolwide data to identify needs and set goals for improvements based on student competencies. We teach classroom lessons about counseling topics based on the ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors at tier 1.

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