Counseling at LSHS


Janni Rumsfeld, Staff Writer

School Counselors; an old system with a good idea but also problems that could be fixed. For everybody it helps to have somebody you can talk to about school stuff but also about mental health issues. The school counselors are often really helpful and are taught special skills to do this job. But, is it helpful if the counselor doesn’t really know you, and you have to wait a couple of days for an appointment?

At Lake Shore High School, there are three counselors that are responsible for about 400 students each. To get an appointment with a counselor, you have to sign up. After that, you have to wait until the counselor has time for you. The waiting time varies depending on how busy the counselor is and the problem at hand, but it can take up to a few days. The problem is that the students may already have done something wrong they needed help with and it is too late.

“Sometimes it is also hard for the counselors to decide how quick the student has to meet the counselor,” Taormina says. “It would probably be easier if the students could fill out a short online assignment about what they want to talk about,” Taormina added.

The other questions that students often face is about what they can talk about. It is hard to talk about major problems with people you really don’t know.

If you need help with choosing classes or other school issues, it would be much more helpful for everyone if the counselor would know much more about the student’s interest and the student’s personality strengths and weaknesses. But, of course, it is hard for the counselor to remember all of that from so many students.

“I think it is really helpful for most students to have somebody who really knows everything about choosing classes and so on,” Taormina said in her interview. “We teachers also can talk about an issue that a student has with the counselors, so they can talk about that with the student.”

In some schools in Germany, every teacher has six students he/she counsels whenever they need help. The problem is that the teachers are not taught certain skills and they still have to teach their usual classes. So, there are some teachers that do a good job and some not, but that is not fair for the students who need help but don’t have a teacher who really cares about their job as a counselor.

I think it would be helpful, like Ms. Taormina proposed, if there was an online website where the students could write down a short description of what the meeting would be about before they talk to the counselor. Also, I think it would be helpful to have more counselors in order to make their caseload more manageable.