Tchaikovsky Sounds Funny: It Takes a Couselor to Advise a Village to Raise a Child

Is this where I put in key words such as sex, lesbians, vampires, Christopher Lloyd and others things to which this blog do not pertain, but by putting them here, I may get hits from all the Christoper Lloyd lesbian vampire fans (and you know who you are)? This is the primarily humorous and occasionally rambling writings of Leon Tchaikovsky, humor writer. Enjoy.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

It Takes a Couselor to Advise a Village to Raise a Child

It is a basic goal of education to prepare a child with the knowledge to excel in our future economy. It is also vital to guide children on how to use integrate this knowledge towards career goals. School counselors provide this crucial link that emotionally prepares children to handle the intellectual development that teachers provide.

In my years of researching issues, I have listened to many experts on assorted crises facing our young. I have spoken with administrators at schools where students shot other students to death, corrections experts who sought to develop empathy from adjudicated youths whose emotions have not fully developed, parents of students scared to attend school due to bullying, and numerous others who were a part of negative school incidences. In each of these and other school crises, I have learned a critical bit of advice to pass along to all who are interested in children and educational issues: School counselors, when provided proper and adequate resources, are extremely effectively in handling these crises and are essential to avoiding them,

School counselors do not just solve problems or avert crises. They help guide well adjusted students towards exploring their strengths and achieving at higher levels. These students will become future innovators, leaders, and productive contributors toward improving our future communities and organizations.

Counselors, when properly trained, recognize the problems facing children. They work on making early identification of troubles and providing early intervention at resolving difficulties. Doing so avoid provides many beneficial results. Bullies learn empathy and stop brutalizing others. Less bullying means fewer victims becoming fearful to attend school and to then learn. Changing a bully into one who appreciates others leads to a lifetime of stable social interactions. This also avoids paths that otherwise might lead bullies towards violence and unstable interactions.

Students who are under-achieving require counseling on the reasons for their sub-par scholastic performances. Counselors who know where to direct students towards individualized solutions help these students both become better students and in the long run better adults. The results of proper counseling are well known. Students who perform better academically are more apt to go on to college, earn high incomes, and lead more stable lives. Students who fail emotionally and academically at school are more apt to become much lower wage earners and perhaps find violent crime as a career choice.

Many mental health issues have early warning signs that are identifiable in the early teenage years. School counselors know to look for these signs and to see that troubled youth have their difficulties addressed. While not all troubled students develop mental health problems, it is still important to realize this key fact: dealing with and helping a troubled youth resolves immediate problems. It is an added bonus that any early problem resolved prevents far more serious future difficulties.

We are aware these problems exist. It is important that we address them. Unfortunately, all too many school districts are choosing to ignore them. While estimates vary, most experts believe approximately one in five children face a mental health issue. This is a child that needs a skilled counselor to recognize which children face which mental health needs. A skilled counselor then needs works to see each child handles and overcomes their mental health challenges. This results in many mentally healthier children who become more adjusted and more successful adults. For a small investment in counseling services at an early age, many future rewards are achieved.

Experts generally estimate that one in ten children have a devastating mental health issue. These mental health challenges stagnates these children’s education and slows their emotional progress. Without intervention at an early age with proper counseling services, these students often fail to achieve the academic knowledge and emotional maturity to succeed in life. With reduced emotional and emphatic development, such children are more apt to fail in relationships and turn to violence and/or criminal behavior. Early intervention is crucial for these children as it is easier to turn such children around while they are younger and brain development is ongoing and not yet set in adulthood.

Turning a troubled child into a productive adult is a valuable social investment. Corrections and adult mental health costs, which are among the fastest growing expenditures to state government budgets, would be vastly reduced. Ironically, due to the growing costs of corrections and adult mental health, these costs are crowding out other appropriations within government budgets such as education. Thus, many school districts are cutting back school counseling services. This is a temporary cost saving that will only explode future public budgets while also harming our communities.

School counselors are among the first items slashed in education budget crunches. Many school administrators discover they barely have enough funds for educational instruction. They are unable to shift funds to non-instructional items such as counseling.

This is one of the worst policy decisions we are creating. When looking at recent headline problems, from the uncommunicative students who become violent to the academic wonders who become bullies and later criminals such as drug dealers, many of the public often asks: where were their teachers when they saw these early warning signs in these people’s childhood? The answer is the teachers were doing their jobs teaching. It takes school counselors to work with troubled students, their teachers, and their family members to resolve childhood problems.

If we remove the counselors, we are guaranteeing many more future negative headlines. The question no longer will be asked “where were the teachers?” The proper question that will be asked will be “where were we?”


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