Most students experience stress at some point or other in their school life. These are just a few examples that might be stressing you or someone you know:
- a Form 1 student is having a hard time settling into the new school;
- a Form 2 student is not sure what subjects are necessary for their preferred career;
- a Form 3 student may be concerned because someone is picking on them on the school bus;
- a Form 4 student may be facing peer pressure to engage in risky behaviour;
- a fifth former is anxious about sitting for exams.
There are many more situations where a student can seek out a guidance teacher’s help. One of the advantages of talking to a guidance teacher is that the guidance teacher is willing to listen to you. Some issues may be too embarrassing to discuss with family members of friends. The guidance teacher doesn’t judge you and is not shocked by what you say. Moreover, anything you tell the guidance teacher, UNLESS IT IS SOMETHING THAT INDICATES YOU ARE HARMING YOURSELF OR OTHERS, will remain confidential, that is, nobody will know what you said.
The guidance teacher cares for you and your happiness. There may be many reasons why you feel that you cannot talk about your issues with your carers. You could be embarrassed, afraid of being judged, afraid of being ignored or you may simply feel that you won’t be understood. Guidance teachers are usually positive, optimistic people with a welcoming attitude that makes students feel cared for. Having said that, the guidance teacher may also act as a bridge between students and their carers. There are also situations where the guidance teacher works in collaboration with other professionals, even outside the school, to help improve the students’ home situation, if this needs to be done.
Life is full of choices and decisions need to be taken constantly, even from a young age. You may feel overwhelmed by all the decisions you are suddenly expected to take. Or it could be the other way round – you want to make your own decisions but there might be well meaning adults who are putting pressure on you to act in ways you don’t want. The guidance teacher is there to listen and offer options without influencing the student. Students are empowered to make their own decisions; they are informed about the choices available and are helped to look at the outcome of each of their choices. Thus students are in a better position to make an informed decision.
Conflict does not occur only between students and their carers. You may be having difficulties with your friends, with members of the opposite sex, with a teacher, or with any other person you come in contact with. The guidance teacher is willing to hear you out, even if it’s not something directly related to school. If the problem is one in which the guidance teacher cannot help you, you’ll still benefit from having shared your problem, as the guidance teacher will give you support and point you in the right direction to get proper help.
SO REMEMBER THE GUIDANCE TEACHER IS THERE FOR YOU. WHEN NOBODY SEEMS TO CARE, REMEMBER THAT THE GUIDANCE TEACHER REALLY CARES.