What do the words, “developmental guidance” actually mean? These may sound fancy, but all they refer to are classroom lessons that counselors teach students from kindergarten to grade twelve. Unlike learning math facts or writing a paper for English, these lessons teach students about forming healthy relationships, making plans for the future, or specific topics about making healthy decisions.
The YKSD Comprehensive Counseling Program utilizes the Second Step Guidance Curriculum which is intended for students in grades kindergarten into middle-school. The curriculum is divided into three parts: empathy training, impulse control and anger management. Empathy training teaches students about recognizing feelings, how they change and strategies to manage them. Impulse control focuses on teaching students how to control impulsive behaviors that at times, can be problematic in the classroom. Finally, anger management teaches students ways of calming down and appropriate strategies on how to identify angry feelings before they become a problem.
Most Recently, YKSD’s Comprehensive Counseling Program acquired the Steps to Respect Bullying Prevention Curriculum which your site or itinerant counselor will be able to utilize. This curriculum made possible through YKSD’s grants department, is intended to target students in grades 2-6. For our younger students, the counseling department utilizes books and videos.
What about developmental guidance for our older students? Counselors certainly do teach students in high school, but these topics are a little different. The most common topics include sexual harassment and cyber-bullying/internet safety. Career planning also becomes a primary priority, especially in middle and high school as we shift to assisting our students on creating a plan for life after graduation. In addition, the counseling department also implements the Life Skills curriculum which focuses on a variety of topics including drugs/alcohol, making healthy choices, and basic "life skills" to be successful!
Other developmental guidance topics your counselor may teach depending on students' grade-level include:
Relational Aggression Suicide Awareness Drugs/Alcohol Awareness
Sexual Harassment Grief/Loss Empathy Skills
Coping with Stress Peer-Pressure Good/Bad Touching
Managing Anger Conflict Resolution Making Healthy Choices
Good Study Skills Personal Hygiene Impulse Control
Bullying Awareness Cyber-Bullying Self-Esteem/Image
Accepting Diversity Gossip/Rumors Career Awareness