Mrs. T C***** currently is a guidance counselor at YPre-K center in _____. She has overseen the YPRE -K counseling program for about 10 years, which is designed to be compressive and developmental, with an emphasis on positive behavior and support. Mrs. C is a trained professional certified by the state of Texas. She received a Master’s degree in Education with a minor in Guidance Counseling from Sul Ross University.
From a young age Mrs. C knew she had the gift of what it would take to be a counselor. In High School she always provided family and friends with a listening ear and loved helping people solve their problems. Being a previous Pre-k teacher, she was challenged with young children that needed help with their emotions. Seeing those problems, Mrs. C had the desired to help those children in need, but realized that she didn’t have those specific skills to address the problems. From that moment she went on to increase her knowledge and understanding of the counseling field. To maintain her credentials, Mrs. Ceniceros must complete 200 hours every 5 years by attending certain conferences every year and local trainings. As a professional she is continually looking for ways to improve to provide that successfully curriculum for her students.
The Ysleta Pre-k counseling program serves around 300 students ages 4-6, which Includes large groups, small groups and individual counseling, along with consultations with staff, parents and the community. As a guidance counselor she is excited and happy to be a part of the early education counseling program at Ysleta. Her goal is to continue providing the help, support and a positive environment. She wants to help students develop health perceptions of themselves; believe in competence, and their learning abilities. Mrs. Ceniceros role is an important part, she sees herself as a leader. Along with the principal and assistant principal they work towards a foundation of positive learning and teaching them how to adapt to a variety of environments by recognizing the needs coming from all diverse backgrounds. Mrs. Ceniceros mentioned that she is very blessed to have a supportive administrative system, where she is able to have a well-rounded guidance program. It’s an expectation, school wide program where everyone: teachers, coaches, nurses, volunteers, bus drives ensure a safe, respectful and responsible environment. It’s very rewarding to her how she is not secluded; she is part of school, they all work to together.
Her program includes activities to enhance the students’ academic progress by addressing conflict issues that may have risen from their home life, work on interpersonal relationships, or if they lack of basic necessities: both physical and emotional, communication skills, study skills, listening skills and most importantly to develop social skills. She allows provides guidance in topics such as kindness, respect, responsibility, honesty, friendship, cooperation/teamwork, and manners. The early childhood guidance counseling program also consults parents and teachers to develop strategies in growth, development and learning. For parents it’s to make sure they understand what kind of environment is needed to help their child succeed and which intervention tactics to use.
Her counseling theory she closely follows is Alfred Adler. She agrees on the theory of personality which is defined as, “A comprehensive in depth analysis on how people function. It emphasizes the importance of early life experiences within the family of origin, or family constellation. From the perspectives such as birth order, sibling, rivalry, and social interest played important fools in the formulation and function of personality.” (Nystul. Pg 173 ) She agreed on how Adler stressed that emotions are useful in helping person toward a goal. In her counseling program she uses some of Alders techniques Such as phase one: establishing a relationship. Mrs. Ceniceros uses listening skills along with a smile to promote trust and respect, with the power of laughter and humor she believes that it follows step 2 in winning respect and offering hope. The third step in phase 1 she allows provides encouragement to her young students again by helping them develop positive attitudes about themselves and the world around them. She mentioned that she loves to use Art therapy which “offers a form of sublimation whereby clients can achieve indirect gratification of unconscious needs.” (Nstyul, pg. 204). She has her kids color code their feels by filling a white heart outlined in black to identify their feelings such as blue is for sadness. For them is easier for the kids to communicate comfortably, has helped her tremendously to engage them to express their feelings and thoughts. Another therapy she uses is Play therapy, which involves play media such as sand play, art, music, and music to learn skills and work out problems. “Play represents an important developmental tool for children and adolescents, natural form of communication, and expression creativity leading to learning, coping, and self-realization.” (Nstyul . pg 297).
Mrs. C guidance lessons reflect the needs of the children identified by the teachers, principal, assistant principal, parents and the children themselves. She typically reaches 20 or so students per week in individual counseling. Her typical work hours are from 6 am to 4 pm, every day is a busy day, Meeting with special educators, parents, teachers, attending conferences and trainings behind the scenes. Even when and if the families or child need her during a crisis after hours, Mrs. C is there to support them. “It’s exciting, not knowing what the day will bring, every day is a different day, love the challenges.” Mrs. C says.
She loves working with children especially since she has previous experience as a teacher. Mrs. Ceniceros mentioned that it comes easy to her on how to speak to them and how to engage them in her activities. “Definitely a fun age!” she says. Her heart will always be with early childhood. That being said Mrs. Ceniceros believes that in order to be a counselor the key quality is to have the Heart! Counselors should be passionate, enjoy helping people. Need to have compassion and empathy to understand the problems and work with children that are in stressful situations. In her eyes counselors are always willing and looking ways to help .They need to be able to intervene appropriately when there is a crisis at hand. She says kids don’t always say what they mean or feel, most of the time they can’t understand their feelings or sometimes put up a front, as a counselor you have to look beyond words. Counselors need observational skills to spot signals of emotional, sexual abuse, certain behaviors, and relationships and being able to determine data from test or interviews. Have people skills and communication skills are also important she says. Mrs. Ceniceros is constantly in collaboration with the principal, assistant, teachers and parents, along with that come having good listening skills, open mind, speaking and writing professionally. Lastly she says that having humor and a smile is an important attribute, which brings hope, trust, and allows the student to engage. Even though she has a supportive team and District who want their kids to succeed, she said it’s a sad surprise to see some parents that really don’t care about the emotional, physical, developmental health of their kids. Although at the end of the day the advantage of her job is to see the success of her kids, For Mrs. C is knowing that she made a difference and was able to help those in need. She smiles when her kids come down the hall way saying “Hi friend, I am helping my feelings!” Mrs. C stated that each child is different and beautiful in their own way and most importantly, they all need to be valued. As for future prospective counselors make sure you’re in the field because that is want will thrive that individual to help others. For Mrs. Ceniceros she believes if you’re passionate about your job you won’t see if as a job. Especially those who want to become a guidance counselor she recommends those individuals to make themselves visible to schools, teachers, and other school professionals. Greet the students, attend related meetings, and attend certain school activities, will allow the individual to establish valuable relationships. She allows mentions to participate in counseling practicum or internship, taking the opportunity will allow that perspective to learn and grow and even speaking with other professional counselor experiences will be a great deal of help.
Choosing Mrs. Ceniceros was a great choose and a great experience. I chose Mrs. Ceniceros because I had heard she was a great counselor at Ysleta pre-k being that I am from Ysleta pre-k myself. I noticed that Mrs. Ceniceros is not only an effective guidance counselor but a nice person. Arriving into her office began with a positive image feeling warm and welcome of brightness and having the cute drawings from her kids. Not only did she provide a qualified image such as clean and professional attire, she presented a smiling and enthusiastic personality. Listening to her education , background, interests to why pursing a counseling degree, to her program and approaches showed me that she really cares about the developmental , behavioral, and wellness of Y Pre-K children. She has great communication skills, improve her competence, works hard, and most important has humor. Mrs. C displays a wholesome philosophy, by valuing the diverse background of her kids, willingness to listen and the patience seek and accepts advice, maintains a good physical, emotional health. Most importantly I could see how she was well equipped to assist her children live a happy and healthy life. Overall enjoyed this experience and grateful for the opportunity!