Peer counseling can be done in different ways. It is important that the person who seeks for advice is the one who is choosing the topics. The counselor can use different helpful communication techniques during the counseling such as reflective listening, reframing, using wonder questions, and open-ended questions. A good thing about this is that the counselor doesn’t have to come up with the final solution, but they can guide the person to find it by themself. We discussed different ways to use peer counseling and the benefits of knowing about the communication techniques in the tandem group.
Teachers are role models for the children. They look up to them, they learn and might even copy the teacher’s behavior and sayings. The communication techniques don’t need to be used only in peer-counseling but in other suitable situations as well. By seeing teachers using these techniques the pupils might begin to use them themselves.
Teaching pupils the techniques
The pupils can learn the techniques. Many pupils have friends they trust and can ask them for help. By knowing about the techniques, they can help each other or themselves, thus they can get quicker help before it becomes a bigger problem.
Teaching parents the techniques
Many pupils trust their parents the most and often ask them for guidance. For the parents it might be easier to guide them by knowing about peer-counseling and these techniques.
Some people might not have someone they can ask for help or they find it easier to ask someone they don’t know privately, a person that is neutral and still can be trusted. This can be the teacher or a school social worker.
Teacher vs therapist
As a teacher we have many different roles and responsibilities, its unpredictable and sometimes even overwhelming. It can be tough to balance all these roles and feel that you have done enough. It’s important that we guide the children but it’s also crucial to be aware about the fine line between being a teacher and a therapist. By using peer counseling as a method, it can ease the pressure for the teachers since you are only guiding them to help themselves and not coming up with big solutions.
How can we easily imply peer-counseling in the classroom?
What is the most sustainable for the teachers and the pupils?
What do you think about helping pupils finding their own solutions then giving them solutions? How can this method benefit them later in life?