New Humanitarian School
What a guidance counselor (tutor)
of the New Humanitarian School should do
1. A guidance counselor (tutor) of the New Humanitarian School (NHS) should understand that he/she is the most responsible for results of development and education of each child in his/her class; hence, he/she should assume the corresponding position regarding the students, teachers, parents, and the administration, i.e. act as the organizer of their activities.
He/she should not forget that the position of a guidance counselor (tutor) (“curator”, or “class director”) was specially introduced in the NHS for performing this function.
Consequently, a guidance counselor (tutor) should not wait for orders from the administration or requests from the teachers, parents, or students to do something because it is necessary to do it, but to try to realize what is going on in the class and the school by himself/herself and understand what is necessary to do, and then do it.
It is noteworthy that “doing” often means “organizing” something rather than doing something for others.
2. A guidance counselor (tutor) must be a significant figure for children and parents. In other words, it is essential that each student in the class should think it interesting and important what the guidance counselor (tutor) thinks about something, what the guidance counselor (tutor) is doing and why he/she is doing that, and what his/her attitude toward the child personally and toward the situation in the class in general is. The guidance counselor (tutor) has to get every parent and child to share their problems and worries that have to do with the processes of learning and teaching.
3. For this purpose the following things are necessary:
3.1. The guidance counselor (tutor) should have personal contact with each child: children must feel at ease discussing any problems with the guidance counselor.
3.2. The guidance counselor (tutor) should be constantly in touch with each parent, and the parents should always be ready to discuss any issues related to education of their children with the guidance counselor. The guidance counselor (tutor) should regularly inform the parents about their children’s successes, difficulties, and problems in each subject, and get the feedback, including complaints, and then respond to these complaints by taking adequate measures, up to informing the teachers and the administration about these complaints. The guidance counselor (tutor) should be able to explain to parents their functions and positions in certain pedagogical situations and be able to involve parents into the educational process, both at home and at school. The form of communication with parents should be sincere and transparent, but at the same time correct and diplomatic.
3.3. The guidance counselor (tutor) should be constantly in touch with each teacher and be ready to
а) discuss with each teacher all issues regarding each child if they are related to his/her education and personal development;
b) discuss and coordinate with each teacher their actions related to each child’s education and personal development;
c) cooperate with each teacher at any lesson and outside them to improve each child’s and the whole class’s performance;
d) provide all teachers with the necessary information about the children and their parents and getting all the necessary information from them (See Paragraphs 4.1. and 4.2.).
3.4. A guidance counselor (tutor) should be competent in all the school subjects his class is currently studying.
3.5. A guidance counselor (tutor) should constantly develop his/her personality and intellect.
4. The goals of work of a guidance counselor (tutor) (tutor)are mainly the following (the significance of the goals has nothing to do with their place on the list):
normal physiological and psychological state of each child (i.е. he/she must see to it that each child is alive, feels well, and is in a cheerful and working mood);
the optimal degree of the quality of each child’s knowledge in each subject;
development of the children’s abilities and skills (in the fields of perception, attention, understanding, memory, thinking, reflectivity, personality traits, etc.);
mentoring children (i.e. a guidance counselor (tutor) should observe each child’s ethic mindsets, self-organization, development of their desirable qualities and elimination of undesirable ones).
5. To gain the above goals a guidance counselor (tutor) must do at least the following:
5.1. He/she should know and understand what is going on at lessons in each subject (what is being done, what the teacher’s requirements and goals are, what is special about the lesson, what the teacher and students need at the lesson, what tasks are given as the home assignment, what manuals, textbooks and other things the children should have at the lesson, etc.) and see to it that everything goes on in due course; this requires securing good discipline during lessons and after them.
5.2. He/she should know and understand the state of things connected with development of each child as a whole and in each subject, i.e. what successes, difficulties, troubles, fears, problems, and gaps each child has in each subject. The guidance counselor (tutor) should display his/her awareness of these things in the plans of educational and developmental work regarding each child so that he/she could organize the work aimed at eliminating the difficulties and gaining successes involving teachers, the administration, parents, and, if necessary, external specialists.
A guidance counselor (tutor) should reveal, analyze, and record successes, difficulties, and shortcomings of each child at least in the following fields (their significance does not have to do with their place on the list):
· worldview, perception of the world around the child and the people around him/her; self-identification (readiness to be a leader or a performer, a doer or an observer, etc.); self-esteem (adequate self-esteem, overestimation, underestimation);
· ethical and moral issues (presence/absence of values and norms that should have been formed, presence/absence of values and norms that appear to be undesirable, readiness/absence of readiness to acquire values and norms the guidance counselors believe to be desirable);
· undesirable personality traits (cowardice, indecision, boastfulness, aptitude to envy, malevolence, etc.);
· cognitive and activity-related interest (absence/presence of interest in something, absence/presence of interest in things connected with education, absence/presence of motivation and values that are necessary for educational activities);
· health and physical development (stamina, strength, agility, coordination);
· enthusiasm, energy, and activeness;
· self-organization and self-control, willpower and persistence, ability and readiness for purposeful activities, capability of working hard and with care;
· ability and readiness to organize activities involving other people;
· degree of self-sufficiency, both in activities and in thinking; presence/absence of the corresponding mindsets, abilities, and skills;
· creative approach to activities/preference for reproductive activities; critical thinking/rigidity of thinking, understanding, and perception;
· degree of development of the sensual and emotional spheres (abilities to experience human sensations, emotional culture, suppressed/excessive emotionality;
· issues of communication with other children of different age groups (the mindset to count with them/ignore them; the degree of benevolence, degree of aggressiveness or anxiousness, absence/presence of cultural norms of communication, degree of development of communicative skills; challenges related to communication with the grown-ups (teachers, parents, etc.) and their psychological and phenomenal causes;
· the culture of behavior (appearance, manners, mimics, gestures, intonations, etc); presence/absence of cultural norms of behavior;
· speech and the degree of development of oral and written speech (vocabulary, syntax, phonetics, logopaedy, tempo, intonation, stylistics, culture of speech, phraseology, orientation to speech cliches/aspiration to precisely express ideas and feelings; the degree of development of rhetoric skills;
· memory (operative and long-term memory, visual and audial memory, motor memory, etc.); perception (degree of development of visual and audial perception, specificity of perception of oral and written information);
· attention (degree of development of voluntary attention, concentration, and distribution of attention);
· degree of mastering the subject matter; which cross-curricular abilities and skills have not been mastered and what exactly hinders the process of development of the child;
· understanding and interpretation of oral and written texts, including informative, instructive, and artistic ones;
· ability and readiness for reflective approach to the essence, grounds, and means of one’s own and other people’s activities, states, and attitudes; degree of development of reflectivity;
· specificity of intellect (its breadth, flexibility, variety of search for resources, speed of selection, range of linking, number of elements/links that are simultaneously kept in mind);
· readiness and ability to explore, design, and systemize;
· sufficient/insufficient thinking activity (presence/absence of the categorial framework, presence/absence of the necessary experience, terminology, and links between the fields of thinking activity (for details see the article “Basic categories and concepts of the New Humanitarian School” – translator’s note);
· ability and readiness to do something by hand;
· aesthetic issues (ability to see, appreciate, and feel beauty, presence/absence of aesthetic grounds in norms of a child’s own activity);
· presence/absence of proclivities and talents (intellectual, creative, organizational, etc.);
5.3. A guidance counselor (tutor) should participate in lessons in the roles of:
а) an “ideal student” (the one who is interested in studies and aspires to learn something) who sets the desirable norms and patterns of activity;
b) a student who reflects his/her ways of working;
c) a student who does not understand something (e.g. does not understand something that everyone understands) and asks questions to problematize both the children and the teacher;
d) an adult who is extremely enthusiastic about what is going on at the lesson (either the material or the actions of the children) thus motivating students to study and emphasizing the social and psychological significance of what is going on for the students;
e) an adult arguing with another adult (this broadens the framework of thinking, understanding, and perception; sets the cultural norms of discussion, such as ways of using arguments to support one’s viewpoint, behavior in case of losing the argument, norms of admitting the loss, norms of listening to an interlocutor and responding to his/her arguments, etc.);
f) an adult who criticizes what is going on and suggests something alternative (this role is supposed to teach children critical thinking);
g) an organizer discussing organizational issues with another organizer (the teacher) (this role is supposed to gradually teach the children to view the situation from the organizational and artificially technical viewpoints);
h) the teacher’s helper acting within the vector of the teacher’s goals for the current lesson;
A guidance counselor (tutor) must do the following:
а) understand what is going on at any lesson at least no worse than the teacher does;
b) inquire of the teacher before the start of the lesson if the teacher needs some help; if it is clear that the teacher needs this help, the guidance counselor (tutor) does not have to inquire: he/she should simply help;
c) discuss the type of acting at the lesson with the teacher before the lesson starts; in case of any disagreements the situation can be discussed with the administration;
5.4. A guidance counselor (tutor) should spend as much time as possible with children at lessons and breaks; during the lessons and breaks they should do the following:
а) During lessons it is necessary to display interest in everything that is studied thus giving an example of cognitive interest and activeness and enhancing the prestige of studying for the children.
b) During breaks the guidance counselor (tutor) needs to be with the children whenever possible.
c) After classes, the guidance counselor (tutor) should spend as much time as possible on discussing ethical, intellectual, psychological, communicational issues, resolve those issues that are the most essential for the children; if the children’s challenges are not apparent, the guidance counselor (tutor) should take measures to reveal them.
d) A guidance counselor (tutor) should understand and share the children’s interests, correct them if necessary and redirect them into more desirable avenues.
5.5. A guidance counselor (tutor) should create situations (and probably discuss them later), when it is possible to improve the students’ personal traits (e.g. situations requiring independent choice, decision-making, independent action, etc.).
5.6. A guidance counselor (tutor) should see to it that the children are present at school. If someone is away from school, the guidance counselor (tutor) must do the following:
а) immediately find out why the child is away from classes and how long he/she is going to be absent (this measure is needed for the teachers to prepare special tasks in case of the student’s long absence); it is desirable to introduce a system, according to which if a student is going to miss classes, his/her parents should call a guidance counselor (tutor) by themselves beforehand (e.g. in the evening) and tell him/her about it (it is the guidance counselor (tutor) who should introduce this system to make his/her own life easier);
b) daily pass all tasks from each teacher who gave lessons on this day to the student by e-mail, fax, telephone, or personally through the parents;
c) if a child who is taught individually has not come to school, the guidance counselor (tutor) should timely inform the individual teacher about it;
d) fight absenteeism and lateness in every possible way (in particular, by the personal example), register all cases of the children’s truancy and lateness, and inform the parents and administration about them.
5.7. A guidance counselor (tutor) should see to it that the children keep in order their classroom, cloakrooms, canteen, as well as desks, book bags, files, shelves, bookcases, blackboard; have a spare pair of clean shoes for wearing them at school, clean hands, pencils, pens, rulers, paints, etc. until these procedures develop into a habit.
5.8. A guidance counselor (tutor) should organize the children’s activity after classes, including the children’s leisure (this should necessarily be done together with the students themselves). He/she should also involve parents, teachers, representatives of the administration, and students from other classes in this sort of events.