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 Respond to all 4 students discussion 100 word minimum

Due Sunday JUNE 18, 2023

Must Read: 

**Please write response as a direct response to the classmate. Please don’t write the response addressing the student as a third person. Correct way to response…… 

***Example: Hi James I agree with you and so on….. 

****Example: Please DO NOT say According to Ashley. Because we’re supposed to respond directly to the student.


**********Practicum II

Response 1- Stacie

How do you approach writing letters of recommendation?

When one is asked to write a letter of recommendation for a person, it can be a challenge. What if the person truthfully is not good at what they do? What if this person does not meet the expectations that you have? There are so many questions that come to mind when that question gets asked. Personally, I have been asked to write letters because of my position. The ones I wrote when I was at the school site were ones that I felt comfortable doing. Take the time to write about the person and their experiences that relate to the job they are applying for followed by their attributes and qualities always finishing with that you would highly recommend this person for the position they are applying for. For someone that does not meet your expectations, or you do not feel comfortable writing for, it is something that is very generic, and bland with vocabulary. An example would be Mark does a fine job at his daily tasks, he comes to work and follows directions when asked. Versus, Mark does such a great job, he goes above and beyond when asked to do duties outside of his daily tasks. In the position I currently hold, it is difficult to write these letters. While yes, I employ them (hiring them as a substitute teacher) I do not see them after that point, they go to the school sites. For the long-term ones, I suggest always asking the school site for a letter when coming to a close on their assignment.

As far as a counselor, when we get asked if it could be for students, how would one go about writing for a student to enter into college or jobs? Again, as stated above it becomes difficult writing for students that are truly not meeting the correct expectations. When I worked at the school site, it was a school that students get placed at, these students did not necessarily want to be there but I worked with them to make the choices they needed to go further. Some would join the Army and others would apply for comes. While I did not have to write a letter, I would be asked to be a reference for them. I think when I get asked for the first time by a student once I become a Counselor, I will be giddy!

Response 2- Robert

Describe your experiences and your role in building relationships with teachers, 
parent(s)/guardian(s), administrators, staff, and outside agencies. 

My experiences in the various arenas and interacting with teachers have been positive. You have to be open to dialogue and find out how to be a team player and assist them where they need assistance. When working with parents, you have to be mild-mannered and understand you are discussing their child, and they already know their child. When I have talked with parents, I have often been able to discuss with them something positive their child has done or improvements that have been made. This allows for the time when I report some struggles the child may be having. These prosocial areas of improvement have allowed me to connect with the parent and see that I’m capable of noticing the positive actions of their children. When working with the administration, you must allow them into counseling by explaining some of your fundamental tasks. You have to be able to show them through your actions and behaviors. We must remember that many school personnel need help understanding the school counselor’s role in totality. As School Counselors, we are responsible for advocating for our role and being assertive in our communication and interactions using an emotionally intelligent communication style. 

********* Professionalism, Ethics**********

Response 3- Anabel

When writing recommendation letters, it is important to consider legal and ethical issues.  According to the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), school counselors who agree to write letters of recommendation need to get to know who it will be for and learn all they can about the student.   If I do know the student, then I have to take the time to write one that is fair to the student and helps to focus on their strengths.  I would have to plan accordingly to the number of letters that would be requested to do it efficiently.  The time to do the letters of recommendation should be done when students are applying for college admissions in the fall of their senior year.  According to Stone (2015) in an April 2013 survey, 558 ASCA members responded said they write letters of recommendation. Of the 558 respondents who work with students who need letters, 12 percent said, I only agree to write a letter if the student is someone for whom I can write a positive letter. Thirty-seven percent said, If I cannot write a positive letter, I explain to the students that they would be in a better position to seek a letter from someone else. Six percent said, I will write letters and include negative comments, but I make certain I can back up the statements with other reliable sources as well as first-hand knowledge. The survey supported the widely held belief that school counselors who agree to write letters of recommendation are using timesaving, efficient techniques to learn all they can about the student. Techniques school counselors use for documentation and help with information include teacher checklists about students strengths/weaknesses and students responses to a school-counselor-generated form about the information they would like shared in a letter, such as their strengths and challenges they have overcome with examples to support their claims. A small percentage use parent or guardian questionnaires.

According to Stone (2015), school counselor recommendations play a pivotal role in the application process for several universities and colleges. According to the National Association for College Admission Counselings 2011 State of College Admission report, nearly two-thirds of colleges and universities attribute considerable or moderate importance to the school counselor and teacher recommendations in determining which academically qualified students they would choose for admission. Therefore, it is good counseling practice to take into consideration some of the legal and ethical issues when it comes to writing letters of recommendation.  The school counselor needs to be fair, honest, and accurate when writing about the student requesting a letter of recommendation.  It is best to recommend the student find someone that knows them and can write a positive letter of recommendation that will help them rather than hinder the possibility of being accepted by the college of their choice. 

Response 4- Courtney

School counselors understand the impact letters of recommendation have on postsecondary planning and advocate to ensure best practices are utilized when writing letters of recommendation for students (ASCA, 2020). To direct their work in this area, school counselors follow the ethical standards and FERPA guidelines (ASCA, 2020). Legal and ethical issues I would consider when writing letters of recommendation are as follows (ASCA, 2020): 

  • Adhere to FERPA guidelines and only include relevant and appropriate details  
  • Respect confidentiality, providing personal information only with written consent 
  • Collect substantial information about the student prior to writing letters 
  • Use a strength-based approach while providing accurate, honest information that does not harm the student 
  • Educate and train staff on best practices for writing letters of recommendation 

Keeping these considerations in mind will ensure that the letters of recommendation adhere to the legal and ethical standards while best supporting students postsecondary planning.  

As mentioned above, school counselors need to gather substantial information on a student prior to writing letters of recommendation to learn about the students background, strengths, and accomplishments, and write a positive narrative with accurate details. To be efficient in this process I would utilize the following techniques (Stone, 2015): 

  • Have the student complete a self-assessment identifying their strengths, challenges, and accomplishments with evidence to support their statements. Also ask the student about other information theyd like highlighted in the letter 
  • Ask the teachers to fill out a form and share insights on the students strengths and areas for improvement 
  • Ask the students parent or guardian to complete a questionnaire 

These techniques can help me gain a well-rounded perspective of the student and allow me to craft a strong letter of recommendation to promote their success.