Individual and small group counseling is a service offered to kindergarten through fourth grade students. Students may be referred for counseling by a parent, a teacher or themselves. Counseling can be ongoing or short-term based on the problem/situation. Issues that a school counselor might address with students:
- peer relations
- school performance
- family change
- self-esteem issues
- anger management
- conflict resolution
- new students
- middle school transition
"Many times, students will request a visit with the counselor regarding a situation at school
and we will meet briefly to try to resolve the situation, particularly if there has been a
problem on the playground, hallway, lunchroom...with another student(s). These types of
visits do not require prior permission from a parent, however I encourage students to go
home and share with parents and guardians that we spoke and explain why we met. "
If the problem situation resulted in some type of consequence, the student will meet with principal. The counselor does not see students for discipline, but rather to assist in conflict resolution so that the student may return to class and have productive work time.
If a student requires on-going counseling, the counselor will contact the parent to discuss the issues. Serious behavior problems or certain family issues may require more in-depth counseling with a licensed professional counselor at an outside agency. Mrs. Orr can assist you with more information about resources in the community for counseling.
Again, you can reach Mrs. Orr at (309) 444-4182 ext 1205 on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings and Thursday of each week.
Dari Zaiser serves WMS students as school guidance counselor. Ms. Zaiser received her undergraduate degree from Illinois State University in social work. After a few years of work experience, she achieved her master’s degree in 2005 in social work from Illinois State University, followed by a second master’s degree in counseling from Bradley University.
"Before I joined District 52, I worked for the Children’s Home as a counselor for children and families with serious
mental health issues. A promotion enabled me to start a
new program at the Children’s Home for juvenile
delinquents. I interned as a school counselor for District
#50 in Sunnyland while obtaining my master’s degree,
then worked for Catholic Charities in Peoria as a therapist
for children in the foster care system."
WMS Guidance Counselor
WHAT IS A SCHOOL COUNSELOR?
A trained professional who works in partnership with students, teachers, parents and the community to help students have a successful and positive school experience. Ms. Zaiser shares,
"My work is to help the students of District #52 become responsible individuals, independent
thinkers, to develop sound problem solving and decision making skills, and view themselves in terms of their fullest potential. I am committed to helping your children explore their abilities, strengths, interests, and talents as these traits relate to their personal and academic development."
As counselor, Ms. Zaiser provides...
- Consulting with teachers, parents, administrators, and others.
- Listening in an effort to resolve conflicts.
- Helping parents understand how to help their children.
- Referring students to outside referral agencies when appropriate.
- Consulting with other school professionals regarding curriculum decisions.
- Helping students learn responsibility by becoming aware of the consequences of their behavior.
- Maintaining a good public relations program
- Working with children individually and in groups
WHY SEE THE SCHOOL COUNSELOR?
There are many reasons students may wish to talk to our school counselor. Some reasons include
- school problems
- friendship issues
- family difficulties
- fear, worry, stress, and conflict
- change and loss / grief
- self image.
Students are also encouraged to visit Ms. Zaiser whenever they have something positive to share, as well.