Tell me a little bit about yourself….. My name is Norm Walker I am an ESA- Certified School Counselor with over 33 years experience in education. I have worked as a school counselor at the high school, middle school, and elementary levels.
Mattawa Elementary School Mattawa, WA I am your Certified School Counselor at Mattawa Elementary School. 400 North Boundary Street Mattawa, WA 99349 (509)932-4433 ext. 3141
Heritage University Toppenish, WA I have also provided training to other school counselors and to graduate level counseling students at Heritage University. Graduate Level-Child Abuse and Safety Course Undergraduate Level- Issues of Child Abuse Course 3240 Fort Road Toppenish, WA 98948
Continued….. I am a member of the American School Counselor Association and a past president of the Washington School Counselor Association. I currently serve on the Professional Education Advisory Board for the graduate counseling program at Central Washington University.
What services do you offer? As your school counselor, I work with students, parents and teachers in helping children to: Get along with their peers, family members, teachers, and school staff Improve their academic, career and social skills Develop awareness and confidence in their unique strengths and abilities Solve problems successfully Our goal at Mattawa Elementary and in the Wahluke School District is to create a comprehensive, developmental counseling program that is consistent with state and national standards and guidelines for school counseling.
What are the individual’s job duties? In my role as your school counselor, I will: Do classroom presentations Talk with students about their schoolwork and their goals Work with students to develop personal/social skills Meet with small groups of students Meet with parents and teachers Help students develop problem solving and anger management skills Assist students with grief and loss issues Help students/parents with referrals to outside agencies Assist students with bullying or violence issues
What does a typical day consist of? “I have a certain number of students that I see on a daily basis. I usually respond to 3-5 classroom observations in a week upon request from the teacher, RTI team, parent, or sometimes as requested by doctors. I also do supervision every day five days a week.”
Like Most: Like Least: “I like the interactions not just with the students but with all our staff. I enjoy working in a team.” “I would say supervision however, it has its advantages. Every student knows who I am. They know that I’m their school counselor and they feel more comfortable coming to talk to me.” What do you like most/least about the job?
If you could change one thing about the job what would it be? “I would like more time in the classrooms. Teachers have mandated time slots so it is hard to work in classrooms. More preventative kind of work with students instead of a great focus on social skills. Bullying prevention, a little more information on careers and the different resources out there that are available to students planning to further their education.”
What do you see as the causes of child abuse and neglect, and domestic violence? It’s the function of poverty. The function of not having the resources causes parents to recreate what they were raised with. Not knowing enough strategies when taking care of their children so that it will not escalate to this type of behavior. Many times addictions is another factor. They lose inhibitions when they are under the influence whether its alcohol or drugs. Abusive things are said and done when they are under the influence.”
Intervention? Prevention? “With parents they need to be held legally accountable. They need to be offered ways to help cope with their children. Parenting classes, treatment if necessary are some resources that need to be offered to them. An example would be have their kids taken care of when parents are in treatment for addictions. Systems assure but when you think of poverty, mental health and criminal justice less supports people that are in poverty. Wahluke is an example it is geographically isolated from resources.” “Education. Whether its education about proper child development and home economics courses. Managing a budget is very important and are skills that unfortunately many parents lack. There are more course that help with life skills and we are not offering courses such as anger management, even as early as elementary. This can help prevent abuse because they will be able to handle their own emotions for later down the road. Strong early childhood preschool programs would also be something to consider.” What do you think are essential elements of
What do you think future social workers need to know about child abuse and neglect? “They need to be prepared to deal with it. The severity of each case can vary and emotions may surge. Knowing what the signs are is also very important. Children usually open up to a teacher or counselor because they are the first people to have interactions with outside the home. They soon become a trusted adult that they will talk to about what is going on. Know how to have conversations with your clients, providing warmth, empathy and genuineness. Recognizing signals and legal responsibilities is also important.”
INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY ERIKA TAPIA DATE INTERVIEWED MARCH 30, 2012 INTERVIEWEE NORM WALKER MATTAWA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL COUNSELOR & CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT INSTRUCTOR Thank You for Viewing