Do you know what your school counselors do?

The primary focus of IST Elementary School Counseling is prevention. Our goal is to help empower students with self-knowledge, coping, and life skills. The IST elementary school counselors provide various services to the IST community, including classroom guidance lessons, individual and group counseling, and consultation with parents or teachers.

Guidance Curriculum

This is our time in your child’s classroom.  In Grades 1-5, the counselors are in your child’s class once every two weeks delivering a program called “Second Step.”  For more information on this, please visit the “Programs” section of our blogs.  In EC and KG, a counselor visits these classrooms each week and presents mini-lessons on different topics such as Kelso’s choices, friendship, sharing, anger management, emotions, etc…

Parent Workshops and Discussion Groups

Every month, the counselors hold a workshop/discussion group for parents on specific ‘hot topic’ issues that parents face raising elementary aged children.  Keep an eye out for advertisements on your child’s grade level blog or in EE!

Individual and Group Counseling

When specific issues or problems arise, teachers can refer children for individual or group counseling.  Counselors have special training in how to help children solve problems, make decisions, and stand up for themselves. We can help students not just by listening and talking; sometimes we use toys and puppets, play games, paint, draw, create clay sculptures, dance, and use other means of expression to help children share their feelings. That doesn’t mean that we wave a magic wand and the problem will go away. But it does mean we can help kids cope with their problems. Our goal is to make your child’s school experience the best it can be. We will take your child’s problem seriously and help find a solution.

School Counselors know how to listen and can help children with life’s challenges. When anyone comes to talk with us, we keep all of our conversation confidential. This way we build trust with our students and their families and we are able to move toward healthy growth and change together. We always ask permission before we share information with anyone.  If your child does share something with us that we feel is important for you to know, we will encourage your child to share this with you, or offer the option of sharing this with parents together.

Sometimes when we find that several students have similar problems or difficulties, we will hold a small group counseling experience.  Some groups we have run in the past: anger management, social skills, “Chick Chat” a group for girls and self esteem/friendship, organization and goal-setting.


The Elementary school counselors also meet regularly with teachers and parents to consult about specific issues that a child is having.  Parents are welcome and encouraged to make an appointment with the school counselor if they have a concern about their child.  We are here to help, and look forward to working together with you to reach your goals for your child.

Just a Few of the Many Reasons Why Different People See the Counselor
To get a gigantic hug from Kate!
I am new here and I miss my old friends.
Everything’s fine. I just wanted to talk!
How can I learn to relax before I give a report in class?
I can’t control my anger…HELP!
I get stressed every time I have to take a test.
I’m sick of being bullied and want help to stop it.
Someone special in my life has died and I don’t know what to do.
I’m having problems paying attention and following directions in class.

My child has nightmares and trouble going to sleep.
How do I talk to my child about ____________? (death, divorce, etc)
My child is having difficulties learning/has a learning disability.
We are new to IST and my child is having a hard transition. What can I do to help?
We are moving away from Dar es Salaam. We’ve lived here many years. I’m afraid moving will be difficult on my child. What can I do?
My child won’t listen to a word I say!
I’ve noticed that my child is not making many friends. What should I do?
I notice that my child is anxious about ________. What do you suggest?

My class is behaving poorly. Please help!
A student in my class is going through a family change, what can I do to support her?
I notice that one of my students is having difficulty in certain academic areas, what can I do to help him be successful?
I am hearing a lot of complaints about teasing and bullying. What can I do in my classroom to help this problem?

Other Resources and Services Provided by the Counselor
Parent books/information in counselor’s office
Parent workshops
Teacher in-services and professional development
Community links and brochures
Outside counseling referrals
Transition services for families moving to and from IST

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