Erik Erikson, a German psychologist and psychoanalyst, has developed a theory of psychosocial development that he says occurs in eight stages. One of them is role confusion vs identity which occurs during the adolescence period i.e. 12 to 18 years. In this phase, adolescents are constantly trying to figure out who they are along with their role in the society. When faced with new behaviors, beyond one’s personal experiences, an adolescent has a hard time coping up with the changes, which ultimately lead to conflict.
Relationships with one’s peers and the friends circle influence their personality. An adolescent is exposed to eight to 10 hours of school and most of them have to deal with bullying, family issues and all the raging hormones. Add social media and video games to the mix, and you have the typical teenager of this era; easily irritable, rebellious, restless, impulsive, moody and secretive.
How can a student be expected to maintain a balance in life amidst all these emotional ups and downs? They carry family’s expectations at the same time and are confused about their role and identity. We hardly try to understand their crisis while they might be heading towards a wrong direction—taking drugs, rebelling with elders, lacking discipline and so on. I believe having a counselor in school level might guide them toward right direction. This can change students’ lives as well as the dynamics of school.
In school, every teacher is responsible to teach his/her own subject and conduct their respective classes, each with 35 to 40 students. It is hard for any subject teacher to take on the role of a counselor in such a situation. Whether it is a subject teacher, class teacher or management, they simply react on a surficial level of what they did whereas a counselor would go into a deeper level to know the trouble, its cause and also encourage the students with better, professional advice.
It is also difficult for a parent to know all the details and observe behavior patterns of their children. Often parents, even educated ones, think a subject teacher or school management is responsible and should know everything about their children.
In all these situations, the role and importance of a counselor just increases. The role of a student counselor is to help students in their academic, behavioral and social growth. With the support of a good counselor, students can boost their confidence and be more productive.