Open up!

You feel that you cannot take anymore lesson or see another person, be it a teacher or student. You are ready to burst open with pent up emotions of frustration, anger, betrayal or a deep feeling of being misunderstood  as well as loads of other depressing emotions that are bound to happen to each one of us at one time or another in a school setting, whether you are an administrator, a teacher or student.

You look around at the human resource available and do you see anyone you can confide in? No! Actually all most everyone is part of the problem. What next? The thoughts that crop up in your mind are likely to be “I need to resign and go to a better place.” And if you are a student, then you are probably thinking, “I need to change schools, as in yesterday!” You forget that there will be challenges, no matter where you go.

Schools that actually understand that the success of their school depends heavily on the wellbeing of the people in them have gone ahead to search for and hire professional personnel who look after the emotional and mental wellness of the staff and students to ensure that the cases of burn out and behaviour deviations reduce significantly if not totally and on the opposite side, academic success increases with the increase in mental wellness and healthy emotions.

These vital support personnel may come in form of general school guidance counsellors, counselling psychologists, education psychologists, social workers and resource teachers. Their much-needed support includes; but is not limited to: the most obvious one being; identifying and addressing challenges in the behaviour of students, supporting teachers to observe and interpret the different test results, behaviour, reactions and actions of the students under their care and guidance.

Another usually overlooked role of counsellors is their role in facilitating the relationships between different stakeholders in the students’ lives. They could bridge the gap of knowledge and information between parents and teachers, teachers and students or all of the aforesaid to the school administration in a professional and neutral manner so that all parties benefit from the relationship.

In a warm, confidential and non-judgmental setting, almost everyone in the school can feel that they can improve their situation by considering alternatives that can come out during a counselling session. So does your school have a counsellor?

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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