Student Services » School Counselors

School Counselors

School Counselors are professional educators with a mental health perspective who understand and respond to the challenges presented by today’s diverse student population. School Counselors are integral to the total educational program.  They work closely with teachers, parents/guardians, administration and school staff. They provide proactive leadership that engages all stakeholders in the delivery of programs and services to help students achieve school success. School Counselors work in three domains: Academics, Personal/Social, and Postsecondary/Career.  

All school counselors in GMSD schools are professionals, have a master's degree or higher in school counseling, meet the state certification/licensure standards, and uphold ethical and professional standards of the American School Counseling Association. 
Each GMSD School is staffed with professional school counselors who can provide the following services, as based on both the Tennessee Model for School Counseling and the American School Counselor Association:

  • Developmentally appropriate classroom guidance lessons
  • Individual and small group counseling
  • Consultation and collaboration with parents, administrators, teachers, support staff, and community agencies
  • Staff development
  • Seminars for parents
  • Social services and mental health agency referrals
  • Prevention and intervention programs    

Classroom Guidance 

Classroom guidance lessons are taught to all students bi-weekly, once monthly, or once weekly (depending on the school schedule). In grades K-5, these lessons are taught by school counselors.  In grades 6-12, these lessons are shared by classroom teachers.  This year we are focused on building strong character, using a program called Character Strong to teach students the skills to help them succeed in school and life. The three main goals of Character Strong is to teach students to Be Kind, Be Strong and Be Well. Parents and community members are invited to see our monthly topics for the year, and along with any lessons your students will be getting in class.
  • Rules and Expectations
  • Goal Setting
  • Listening Skills
  • Organization
  • Emotion Management
  • Self-Regulation
  • Bullying Prevention and Empathy
  • Study Skills
  • Red Ribbon Week
  • Generosity
  • Career Exploration and Readiness
  • Kindness 
  • Test-Taking Skills
  • Conflict Resolution 
  • Positive Mindfulness
Please refer to individual school counseling websites for more detailed information, including instructional materials, and lesson pacing charts.  We require our school counselors to post their classroom lessons on their school sites.

Small Group Counseling

Group counseling offers students an opportunity to pursue common goals with a small group of peers. This is great for learning, and developing social skills. These groups usually meet once a week for 3-6 weeks. Students may be referred by a parent, teacher, or they can ask to speak with the counselor. Groups are formed as needed, and common topics include Self Control, School Success Skills, Family Changes (ex. Divorce), Anxiety/ Worry, and Friendship/ Social Skills. While personal information regarding other group members is confidential, students are encouraged to share with their parents what they are learning in group. Parent permission is required to participate in small group counseling, and require the standard GMSD counseling consent form. 

Individual Counseling

Students may meet with the counselor on an individual basis if there are academic, social, or emotional concerns. Students may be referred to the counselor by a parent, teacher, or they can ask to speak with a member of our team. After the first meeting, parent permission must be obtained for sessions to continue. While the information is confidential, unless there is a suspicion of harm to self or others, students are encouraged to share with their parents what they are talking about in sessions. Parent permission is required to participate in individual counseling, and require the standard GMSD counseling consent form

Any questions regarding school counseling can be directed at the school counseling coordinator, Christy Law at (901) 752-7900 Ext. 7877 or via email by clicking here.