WHAT IS A SCHOOL COUNSELOR?

**Someone who will talk to you and listen:
Personal problems--Affecting your attitude and performance at school. You can't do your best at school if something is bothering you--relationships with teachers or other students, stress from school or outside pressures; feelings of insecurity, etc.
Social issues--Dealing with peer pressure; resolving conflict; knowing how to react to different situations; resisting pressure to use alcohol or other drugs.
Sort out problems--Talking to someone often helps make things clearer.
Explore options--Finding and evaluating possible solutions to a problem situation.
Reach decisions--Learning skills to make appropriate decisions for yourself.
**Someone who will help you with academics:
Course selection--Choosing courses suited to your interests and plans.
Problems with classes--Finding ways to be more comfortable and involved in class.
Long-range planning--Making plans for four years of high school and beyond.
Graduation requirements--Watching your progress to make sure you are on target to meet all requirements.
Test results--Helping you understand achievement and other test results.
Study skills--Providing suggestions and ideas for improving study skills.
**Someone who will help you plan for the future:
Plan for your future--Keeping as many doors open as possible so that when you graduate you have positive options available to you.Dropping out of school closes many doors and severely limits your options.
Make decisions about a career--Helping you understand your interests, abilities, and goals as related to career choices.
Career information--Providing information on work conditions, salaries, educational requirements, employment opportunities.
Explore higher education--Providing information about selecting the kind of school that will best meet your needs. The counselor's office has information on many colleges, universities, technical and trade schools, and the military. Information is available about admission requirements, college entrance exams, high school preparation, application procedures, financing education beyond high school--financial aid and scholarships.



GETTING ALONG AT SCHOOL

Getting along at school means making your school years successful and fun!
School years are:
· Challenging because you are facing new situations and decisions.
· Confusing because you may be unsure about what is expected of you.
· Exciting because you have a chance to make new friends and experience new things.
People who get along at school:
**Think positively about themselves and others.
Be yourself. Let others know the "real you."
Focus on the positive things that make you special and interesting.
Set reasonable goals for yourself.
Be patient with yourself as you work on areas you want to change.
**Settle conflicts by talking instead of fighting.
Speak up when something is bothering you.
Choose a good time and place to talk--allow plenty of time and privacy.
Make eye contact and really listen to the other person. Don't interrupt.
Be polite--even if you're angry.
Tell the person how you feel.
Avoid blaming, criticizing, and name-calling.
Work toward a solution you can both agree on.
Sometimes an adult mediator is helpful.
**Know how to make and be good friends.
Take the first steps toward friendship.
Take an interest in others; be honest and polite; reliable and loyal.
Respect other points of view; don't betray confidences.
Don't gossip.
Be yourself. Stand up for what you believe in; do what you know is right.
Have a positive attitude.
**Take responsibility for what they do and say.
Attend school regularly.
Do your homework.
Get to class on time.
Make up work if you're absent.
Ask for help.
Study.
**Get along with their teachers.
Pay attention in class.
Never cheat.
Do your best. Give your best effort.
**Get involved in activities outside the classroom.
Find something that interests you and get involved!
Drama--acting, set design, directing, sound; music; sports--player, team manager, statistician; clubs;journalism; community service; hobbies.


TEST-TAKING SECRETS

**Listen to and read all the directions before starting.
**Read the entire question before answering.
**Keep track of time. Example: Twenty questions in one hour means three minutes per answer.
**Pay attention to words that affect the meaning of the question, words such as no, not, never, always.
**Answer easy questions first. Then go back and answer the hard ones.
**Use time at the end of the test to check over work and answers.

THINKING AHEAD

High school is a time of learning, growing, and preparing for the future. Choices made in the next four years will determine the options available to you after graduation from high school. Those options will in large part determine the life style available to you. Though graduation seems like a long time away, the next four years will go by so quickly. It is important that you take advantage of every opportunity that comes along to prepare for the future. Some suggestions:

***Prepare now for the future

You already know what it takes to get along after high school--a job! But some jobs are better than others--they pay more money, and they are a lot more satisfying. Interesting, well-paying jobs require special training. To prepare for these jobs, start in high school. Select high school classes that will prepare you for careers you are interested in--and study hard. There’s no free ride. Good jobs go to people who have prepared.

***Get a good education

All careers require great communication, math, and computer skills--skills you can learn in school starting today. Some careers require a college education. Others demand hands-on, applied technology skills. Community colleges, trade and technical schools (once called vo-tech), and apprenticeship programs provide training for technology skills.

***Develop a positive attitude

In school or on the job--as an employee or an employer--it takes more than textbook skills and the knowledge you get in school to make your chosen career a success. It takes hard work, a positive attitude, ability to get along with others, and willingness to learn.


A GRIM STATISTIC

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that high school dropouts are 72 percent more likely to be unemployed and earn 27 percent less than high school graduates. Unfortunately, some of you, the Class of 2008, will make the decision to drop out of school and become one of these statistics. The teachers and administrators at Conway Springs High School will do everything in our power to discourage you from making the decision to drop out. Unfortunately, we do not have the power to decide for you. It is our hope that you will allow us to help if you begin to feel that dropping out is an option. We will do everything we can to help you get on track to stay in school
AM I MATURE?

"Maturity is the ability to do a job whether supervised or not; finish a job once it is started; carry money without spending it; bear an injustice without wanting to get even.

Maturity is the ability to control anger and settle differences without violence.

Maturity is patience. It is the willingness to postpone immediate gratification in favor of the long-term gain.

Maturity is perseverance, the ability to sweat out a project or a situation in spite of heavy opposition and discouraging setbacks.

Maturity is the capacity to face unpleasantness and frustration, discomfort and defeat, without complaint or collapse.

Maturity is humility. It is being big enough to say, “I was wrong.” And, when right, the mature person doesn’t need to experience the satisfaction of saying, “I told you so.”

Maturity is the ability to make a decision and stand by it. The immature spend their lives exploring endless possibilities; then doing nothing.

Maturity means dependability, keeping one’s word, coming through in a crisis. The immature are masters of the alibi. They are confused and disorganized. Their lives are a maze of broken promises, former friends, unfinished business, and good intentions that somehow never materialized.

Maturity is the art of living in peace with that which cannot be changed, the courage to change that which can be changed, and the wisdom to know the difference."                                                                                                  --Author Unknown