Claire Roberts took on the role of student counselor at the International School of Lausanne in September 2008. Claire was born in London, Britain and has a first degree in Psychology, Post Graduate Certificate in Education, and a Masters in Education. After working in Psychiatry, Claire trained as a Primary School teacher and has held many teaching positions over twenty years at ISL, the Ecole Nouvelle and in inner city London schools. For the past few years she has been teaching courses to teachers in neurodevelopment and been responsible for Schools Attuned at ISL. Claire completed her second Masters degree in Counseling at Webster University in Geneva.
The role of the Student Counselor
The role of the student counselor is wide and varied. The student counselor is a support and resource person to the students, staff and parents. The student counselor works in close collaboration with the homeroom teachers and other staff in the School to provide an environment which is safe and comfortable for the students. The student counselor works with students in a variety of areas. It might be a problem or concern students have or to provide information in specific areas such as grief and loss, mental health, friendship, sexuality, stress and coping, conflict resolution or drug and alcohol awareness. The student might come to see the student counselor if they feel like they just need someone they can talk to who is non judgmental and confidential.
The aim is to ‘normalise’ help seeking behavior in young people. And to provide a warm and welcoming environment in which the students can feel comfortable.
The role of the student counselor is promoted through the newsletter, the student notice board which provides relevant and interesting information on relevant themes, by running workshops for parents, staff and students and of course by speaking to and working with young people in the School.
Students are able to make a personal appointment with the student counselor either by calling her office or by sending her an email. Some students prefer to call in to see the student counselor to have a quick talk and then make a longer appointment while they are there and others prefer to do it by email. The student counselor works with teaching staff to identify student who might benefit from some advice, guidance and assistance and in these circumstances the student counselor will make a personal appointment directly and discreetly.
The issue of confidentiality is important and the student counselor maintains a high standard of trust with the students.
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