Franklin Sampson is the director of guidance and counseling for all students in Cy-Fair ISD. As head of the department, he said counselors in each school help encourage students and educate them about their options during their time in the district and following high school graduation.
Why is counseling important to the educational environment? How does it help students?
Counseling is a vital part of the educational environment. Counselors are the heart of each school. They provide support, encouragement, love, joy and happiness to each campus. Counselors also help students explore the vast array of educational opportunities available to them. Counselors help students find the correct path and help others stay on the right road. This is very important because in order for us to have a successful future, counselors must continue to exercise their responsibilities by advising and assisting our leaders for tomorrow.
What are some common issues you deal with when counseling students?
Counselors are trained to handle any situation that may walk through their doors on any given day. We have trained our counselors to be multidimensional when it comes to serving our students. Counselors deal with a wide range of issues. They are as follows but are not limited to the ones mentioned: peer relationship issues, drug abuse, family crisis, social media bullying, report/performance card issues, suicidal ideation, death of a loved one, scheduling conflicts, social behavioral issues and self-harm.
Besides career and future choices, what other aspects of a student’s life does a counselor help with?
By looking at the future, the counselor helps students deal with things that are happening in their lives today. It is important to remember the quote that says, “If you fail to plan then you plan to fail.” Counselors make sure that students are in the correct classes that they need in order to be successful. They also assure that students are mentally and emotionally prepared to take on the load that they request. Counselors many times also serve as a mentor for students. They assist students where needed. They also serve as the ones who fill the void that students have in their lives.
How would you recommend counseling students who are stubborn about participating?
Students who are stubborn about participating must be encouraged just like other students. We must remain positive and continue to provide the lifelong lessons that will attempt to influence students to participate in clubs or activities at school. It is important for one to never give up on a student who may not want to join initially. Some students aren’t used to certain things, or they may not have friends that participate in school-related activities so there may be times when we will need to help them see the “big picture.” In order to help that student, we must be passionate and persistent.
How are parents involved in the counseling process, if at all?
Parents are very important and should be involved in the counseling process. We encourage parents to know what their students are involved in at school and to be knowledgeable regarding the requirements needed to move to the next level. Parents can help tremendously because they help monitor the student's schedule and report card. If parents notice an issue or a matter that needs to be addressed, they may be able to bring it to the attention of the counselor before the counselor is aware that there is an issue.
What are ways you see true success in counseling a student?
We see true success in counseling a student when we give advice or suggestions and we see positive results. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a student who is perplexed or troubled and they adhere to the advice from the counselor and things become better. Counselors also offer academic assistance and provide needed information regarding tutorials or test preparation. When we see students who have failed or who have not performed to their full potential, then they meet with their counselor for assistance and their grades improve. It is an amazing feeling.
What goals do you try to accomplish when counseling a student?
That question can be summed up in two words: student success.