Leadership Support of Student Learning and Development

Introduction

Today, school counselors play an active role in school settings as leaders, not only participants of an educational process and service providers. Therefore, school counselors are expected to demonstrate their leadership roles in cooperating with students and promoting effective and individual-oriented educational services for them (Foxx, Baker, & Gerler, 2016). The purpose of this paper is to explain counselors’ unique qualities and roles, evaluate the personal knowledge regarding students’ needs that affect their learning and development, and provide an action plan to improve knowledge of these needs.

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Unique Qualities of School Counselors

Leadership in the context of school counseling can be defined as the set of counselors’ activities toward promoting a systematic change in a student’s study depending on his or her needs to lead this student to success and act as an advocate for his or her interests. Thus, a school counselor can influence the whole educational process for an individual while providing recommendations regarding the organization of lessons for a student and contributing to an individual’s learning and development as a leader (Goodman-Scott, Betters-Bubon, & Donohue, 2015). In this context, the unique qualities associated with a counselor’s role in discussing student assistance programs are persistence, the ability to motivate, and skills to implement changes in order to develop and integrate individual-oriented student assistance programs into an educational process.

Furthermore, the unique qualities associated with leadership and curriculum development include abilities to cooperate with stakeholders who can change curricula and integrate individual programs and abilities to advocate for students and defend the necessity of certain changes in plans to address students’ needs. Finally, a school counselor should demonstrate his or her integrity, perseverance, and accountability during advisory meetings (Davis, 2014). These qualities are important to provide arguments for necessary changes and recommendations to be integrated for certain students to guarantee positive alterations in their learning and development.

Evaluation of One’s Own Knowledge

While evaluating my own knowledge regarding the aspects that can influence students’ learning and development, I should state that atypical growth, physical and cognitive development directly affect students’ abilities at school. I am aware of this fact, referring to the results of recent studies on the topic. Furthermore, if students have significant problems with their health and wellness, these aspects can prevent them from learning effectively, and I understand the importance of adjustments during lessons in these cases. I also have the developed knowledge regarding the relationship between language skills and students’ learning with reference to the scholarly literature, and I know strategies to modify lessons to address this issue. I have also been trained on how to work with representatives of diverse backgrounds to address multicultural issues and ensure that classroom environment are comfortable for diverse students. Still, I need to constantly improve my knowledge regarding the impact of different ability levels and resilience on students’ learning and development because these issues are usual reasons for asking for counseling services.

Action Plan

The results of the evaluation indicate that I have enough knowledge to work with situations related to helping students with atypical growth and development, health problems, language difficulties, and multicultural issues. However, I need to develop an action plan to improve my understanding of how ability level and resilience influence students’ learning and development. Thus, my action plan includes three objectives to guarantee my professional development (Table 1).

Table 1. Action Plan Timeframe.

Objective Actions Evidence of Accomplishment Resources Timeframe
To ensure that my knowledge of the relationship between atypical growth and development, health problems, language difficulties, multicultural issues, and students’ learning and development is relevant and up-to-date. To regularly review the evidence-based literature on counseling for students with the listed needs (Tovar, 2015). The ability to make relevant and evidence-based decisions regarding students’ individual plans and curricula. Articles and reports from peer-reviewed journals; professional websites. 12 months
To increase my awareness of the relationship between different ability levels and students’ learning.
  1. To receive additional training in working with students having different ability levels.
  2. To read professional literature on the topic.
  3. To attend seminars on working students with such needs (Foxx et al., 2016).
Providing effective recommendations for students to improve their learning depending on the ability level. Training sessions; seminars; articles from scholarly journals. 9 months
To improve my knowledge regarding the relationship between resilience and students’ learning and development.
  1. To read literature on resilience and its types with the focus on students’ cases.
  2. To receive online training on the topic (Davis, 2014).
The ability to work with students whose resilience influences their learning. Scholarly literature; professional websites; online training courses. 9 months

Conclusion

A good school counselor should perform as a leader in order to contribute to students’ learning, and his or her participation in developing student assistance programs and curricula, as well as advisory meetings, is critical. As a result of developing leadership qualities and participating in educators’ meetings, a counselor can perform as an advocate for a student’s needs and interests and influence the study process to guarantee all students are educated in appropriate and comfortable environments. To develop these skills, it is also important to set goals to achieve and design action plans to follow.

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References

Davis, T. E. (2014). Exploring school counseling (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Cengage Learning.

Foxx, S. P., Baker, S. B., & Gerler, E. R. (2016). School counseling in the 21st century (6th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

Goodman-Scott, E., Betters-Bubon, J., & Donohue, P. (2015). Aligning comprehensive school counseling programs and positive behavioral interventions and supports to maximize school counselors’ efforts. Professional School Counseling, 19(1), 57-67.

Tovar, E. (2015). The role of faculty, counselors, and support programs on Latino/a community college students’ success and intent to persist. Community College Review, 43(1), 46-71.

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