Sunday, June 9, 2013

#ESCChat #8 School Counselor + Principal Relationship 6/6/13

This week's #escchat was moderated by Tamica Collard (@TamicaCollard) and the topic was School Counselor + Principal Relationship. The American School Counseling Association has been researching and emphasizing the importance of this relationship over the past few years, so it was a very important topic to discuss! As always, here is the chat transcript and the summary is below.

Q1: Why is it important for the Principal/Counselor to have a good working relationship?
  • Student SUCCESS! Both want to see students succeed. When working together we have a better chance at making a difference.
  • If Principal, teachers and counselors have a collaborative relationship with the same vision things go well.
  • Fortunate to have that shared vision with my principals and it often eliminates the need to over communicate.

Q2: What does an effective Principal/Counselor Relationship look like?

  • A collaborative relationship that is built on mutual trust & respect that creates a shared vision impacting student success.
  • Respect, trust, goes without saying. A pleasure to go into work.
  • Important elements in the P/SC Relationship are effective communication, collaboration, respect and shared vision.
  • If you are following best practices and know their vision it is a piece of cake. Recipe for school and student success.
  • Trust. They don't check up on you every minute. In a poor relationship, I find that happens.
  • Regular staff development helps. If I know their vision I tweak mine to fit.
Q3: What are some barriers to a successful Principal/Counselor Relationship?
  • Time to collaborate & communicate. Not a clear understanding of each others' role.
  • Not taking time to meet. Assuming things. Lack of clear school vision.
  • All our grade levels have regular meetings with admin, but often the counseling team meetings can get lost in the mix.
Q4: How can school counselors help principals to better understand their role?
  • I think it helps that we have PowerSchool to document things. I put discipline things in and they can see what I did/vice versa.
  • When they don't have time to listen..... bad things can happen.
  • Having close and regular communication with principals is very helpful. We can then mesh our goals and building goals as well
Q5: Where are some areas of job responsiblity where Principal & School Counselor may overlap?
  • Discipline when they are out, leadership. Setting the tone with kids.
  • Situations related to discipline, our roles can get mixed up.
  • I agree, we are often seen as next in line when they are out which can cloud our role.
  • Counselor working as disciplinarian is not my ideal but the team must work together
Q6: What personality/professional traits do school counselors hope for in their principal?
  • Student focused! 
  • A good principal has a strong consistent vision, is a leader, listens, is visible, models, gives feedback and trust. 
  • Clear vision and ability to inspire others to meet that vision. Communication. Consistency. Empathy.
  • Strong leader who can let you just do it. Understanding and encourager. POSITIVE ATTITUDE.
  • Listening is such a hard skill to learn but so valuable.
  • Mutual listening, collaborating and having shared goals for kids is a great relationship to have.
Q7: What personality/professional traits do principals hope for in their counselor?
  • I think this really depends on how principals view the counselor's role.
  • Initiative, good communication skills, flexibility.
  • Strong leader/collaborate with staff, a presence in the school, visionary.
  • Someone who can engage varied audiences - kids, parents, teachers, community. Innovative. Patient. Problem solver.
  • Empathy and inspiring... 
  • A good counselor loves kids, is a reflective listener, is empathetic, consistent, and develops individual and building goals.
Q8: What can we do to improve the Principal/School Counselor Relationship?
  • Listening as a part of communication. Some people have a difficult time with this. It takes practice.
  • Trust, communication, shared vision, mutual support, positive environment.
  • Set a regularly scheduled time to collaborate.
  • Brainstorm and collaborate as much as possible. Attend PD together.
  • It all starts with communication & trust as the foundation of a relationship. Build a shared vision & collaboration from there.
  • Results. Use data to show your value. That's been a challenge for me but its one of my goals for next year.
  • Humor. Willingness to not take everything so seriously and just band together sometimes.
Q9: How can Principals & School Counselors formally/informally measure the impact of their teamwork? 
  • Can it be measured?? You can see and feel it in the school environment. Maybe by result of shared goals.
Do you have input to share? Comment here or join the conversation on Twitter at #escchat! 

1 comment:

  1. Great conversation and an important topic. I would add: Making the relationship a priority as one way to make sure it is successful. Because developing a good working relationship is fundamental to so many other things, both parties must see this relationship as a priority and set aside time to communicate.