Instructor: Ms. Colleen Weems, LPC-MHSP
Personal Mission Statement:
"There is no greater joy nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone's life." -Mary Rose McGeady
Program Mission Statement:
The mission of the School Counseling Program at Andrew Johnson Elementary is to assist in developing responsible and productive citizen leaders through a comprehensive support base of individual counseling, small group counseling, classroom counseling, and student support services addressing the social, emotional, and scholastic needs of students.
Program Vision Statement:
It is the vision of the School Counseling Program that all students leave Andrew Johnson with consistent exposure to the skills and mindset needed to be successful and productive citizens. This vision supports development of the whole child so that our graduates can be life-long learners, professionals, and individuals.
The School Counseling Program believes that all means all:
- All children deserve respect
- All children have a unique voice
- All children are learners
- All children and adults are influenced by social, familial, and biological factors that impact learning and performance
- All children benefit from justice more so than equality
- All children have the potential for success
What is a School Counselor?
A licensed, trained, and caring professional who is available to work with all students, parents, teachers, and staff in order to help students achieve academic, social, and familial success. A school counselor is the modernized career of the “guidance counselor,” in which a licensed teacher received additional certification to guide students in vocational planning. In comparison, a school counselor has, at minimum, a master’s degree in Counseling and is licensed through the state Department of Education.
Though not required of school counselors, I am additionally a Licensed Professional Counselor (Mental Health Service Provider designation) through the Tennessee Department of Health, as well as a Mandatory Prescreening Agent through the state Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. I am currently a member of the American School Counselor Association and the Tennessee Counseling Association, serving as President of our local chapter, Watauga Counseling Association.
As your school counselor, I will:
- Abide by the American School Counselor Association code of ethics
- Abide by the American Counseling Association code of ethics
- Participate in on-going professional development specific to counseling
- Maintain membership in professional organizations that support school counseling and counselors
- Monitor and adjust the school counseling program goals and mission to best meet the needs of all learners
The School Counseling Program will meet the Tennessee Department of Education standards for school counseling by addressing the following domains:
- ACADEMIC DEVELOPMENT
- Students will be supported in academic success, leading to post-secondary education, work, and/or training.
- CAREER DEVELOPMENT
- Students will explore the world of work including community helpers, career options, job skills, and interest matching.
- PERSONAL/SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
- Delivery of curriculum will include providing students with skills to recognize and better manage emotions and relationships. The 7 Habits will be woven into lessons to develop holistic and leadership-aware individuals.
The School Counseling program is delivered through the following four services:
- Classroom Instruction Curriculum – developmentally appropriate classroom lessons that correspond to the needs of PreK-5 students. Lessons encompass academic, career, and/or personal/social goals.
- Individual Student Planning – assists students in academic planning, decision-making, and goal setting.
- Responsive Services – address students’ immediate academic and/or social/emotional needs through individual counseling, group counseling, collaboration with teachers, staff, and parents, consultation with professionals in the counseling field, coordinating services for students and families, and crisis prevention and intervention. As are all citizens, the school counselor is mandated to report suspected or reported child abuse and neglect. (Please note that counseling services provided by a school counselor are not to be considered therapy, and are short-term and solution-focused. At parent request, we can discuss community options for continued counseling services for your child outside of the school. School counseling services are student-focused and not designed for litigious support.)
- System Support – school wide program planning, implementation, and support.
Our class lessons will follow both the State of Tennessee Model for Comprehensive School Counseling (our state standards for school counseling programs), as well as the standards presented in the ASCA (American School Counseling Association) National Model. More information on these requirements and recommendations can be found at https://www.tn.gov/assets/entities/education/attachments/comp_sch_counsel_model.pdf and https://www.schoolcounselor.org/school-counselors-members/asca-national-model, respectively.
As the mom of two young children, I understand how challenging it is to be a parent today. My hope is that the Classroom Counseling curriculum will help our students develop behaviors and make choices that demonstrate respect and personal responsibility.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about the School Counseling Program, or about your child. I can be most easily reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow the School Counseling Program on Twitter @AJS_Counselor