Stephanie Pulido » Bio and philosophy of school counseling

Bio and philosophy of school counseling

About Me
The 2017-2018 school year begins my 24th year in education.  I have worked in a variety of schools and served students through numerous roles and titles.  My experiences as an elementary teacher, junior high teacher, educational consultant, assistant principal, and counselor have provided me with valuable insight about the way students learn, behave, and succeed. My classroom specializations and talents involved teaching young writers and readers, helping limited English proficient students acquire and master a new language, and cultivating excellence in gifted learners.  I have a passion for working with the most challenging students.

My credentials
B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies (teacher certification)
M.Ed. in Educational Administration (principal certification)
M.Ed. in School Counseling (school counselor certification) (will complete 12/2014)
ESL certification (English as a Second Language)
G/T endorsement    

My philosophical approach to school counseling
     Counselors are poised to be agents of change within the school setting. If our educational system intends to honor its promise to serve all students, school counselors must operate with a social justice approach—promoting advocacy, facilitating school-family-community partnerships, collaborating with all stakeholders, adopting a strengths-based approach, and challenging barriers to academic success for special populations.
     My philosophy of advocacy counseling is based on the fundamental belief that all students can learn, have differences worth recognizing and respecting, and deserve access and equity to learning opportunities. Counselors’ actions are governed by their own beliefs, attitudes, and perspectives. By embracing the underlying principles of equity, access, and participation for all learners, I, as the CIS counselor, can effectively manage develop intentional and system interventions.
     Counselors must operate within a comprehensive, systems-thinking approach. To combat low achievement, counselors must view these problems within the context of all systems in which students are involved. Counseling efforts aren’t able to address achievement gaps in isolation from external factors, nor can they be successful without integrating and enlisting all stakeholders in the process. Partnerships which can garner the support, resources, skills, networks, and programs that are useful in helping school counselors provide critical services to meet the numerous needs of students, families, and the communities in which we live.
      It is my belief that school counselors should take a strengths-based intervention approach at multiple levels within the system. If school counselors are to impact all students in meaningful ways, they cannot continue to focus primarily on providing isolated, reactive response services to a small percentage of the student population. This approach not only harnesses positive resources, but promotes protective factors, builds resilience, and accomplishes the simultaneous goals of prevention, problem reduction, and skills acquisition for all stakeholders. From delivering responsive services, program guidance, consultation, and collaboration, strength and asset building models focuses on positive development and fosters achievement for all learners.
      Employing a systemic, intentional, and strengths-based counseling approach involves interventions at all levels within the system. When professional school counselors develop and maintain a school counseling program based on advocacy, they empower teachers, parents, guardians, and students to speak out and change unjust institutional and systemic practices. Individual, group, and organizational interventions are designed to not only challenge and remove barriers for individual success, but also helps ensure equitable access and policies regarding special populations. It can ultimately foster sociopolitical change. The options for applying the philosophical approach of advocacy are endless in possibility. It is essential, however, that counselors understand that advocacy represents not a single event, but rather the culmination of a process.
      In summary, I espouse a philosophy of counseling that is one of social justice and advocacy, one which begins with the learner as center and expands holistically to include the context in which the learner operates. Counselors should serve as agents of change to ensure equity in access, attainment, and achievement, and collaborate with all levels and stakeholders within the system, focusing on strengths and assets. This philosophy is one that is not only supported by the ASCA National Model and its themes of advocacy and collaboration, but one which is gaining momentum in our current culture of accountability.

Helpful links:

Roles and Responsibilities of the School Counselor