Role of the School Counselor at Tashkent International School
The school counselor’s role is to provide social and emotional support to the students and families of TIS. This includes counseling sessions, parent meetings, advising teachers, and providing classroom presentations to address the emotional and social well-being of the students. Counselors handle a multitude of issues within the school community. Below are just a few examples of what a counselor is able to address at TIS.
Academics and Physical/Emotional Health
The physical and emotional well-being of a student is intrinsically linked to his/her success in school or extracurricular activities. Poor stress management, family problems, lack of organizational skills, low self-esteem, and other issues can all have a negative impact on the quality of a student’s work and his/her relationships with others. As students reach adolescence, issues like anger management, interpersonal relationships, body image, hygiene, and time management can become more apparent. Students are encouraged to discuss these issues with the school counselor in order to receive ongoing support and to learn practical skills such as how to express feelings appropriately, limit-setting, time management, stress management, and other skills. At both the elementary and secondary levels the school counselor works with students individually, in groups, and in the classroom to improve their social/emotional well-being and to learn practical skills that will help them be successful in and out of the classroom.
Families who live abroad for an extended period of time have the pleasure of traveling, meeting new people and learning about and participating in different cultures. Despite the upside of being an expatriate, it can also be stressful. For students who attend international schools, they must learn to deal with the flux of adjusting to a new environment, saying goodbye, and developing and maintaining meaningful personal relationships whilst being expected to handle a school workload and extracurricular activities. Moreover, transitions are not just limited to students who are coming and going. It is also important to address transitions within the school such as moving on from 5th grade to 6th, entering the Diploma Programme, and other school-related moves.
The school counselor helps address these issues by assisting TIS teachers and administration during orientation week, providing resources and information to parents and students, and meeting with students individually.
Students are referred to the counselor a number of ways – by parent request, student request, classroom teachers, and the Student Support Team.
Often living in a country like Uzbekistan limits access to resources for the international community. The counselor assists students, families and teachers in seeking valuable information that may help address issues in and out of the classroom and beyond the school walls. This includes researching topics related to mental health or referring families to resources within their home countries should the student need testing and additional support. The TIS counselor’s blog provides a central base of relevant information and resources (articles, links, discussions, etc.) for students, parents and teachers that address the needs of the TIS community.
Students, parents and teachers are always free to also contact Lance Yuen, school counselor, via e-mail at or by telephone to set an appointment.
Counseling sessions are confidential, but there are limitations to the confidentiality. Students, parents and teachers can be assured that they can speak to the TIS counselor without being concerned that the content will be discussed publicly. The counselor takes great steps to ensure that information is not shared widely. However, it is also important to stress that the counselor does consult with administration and faculty as being the bridge between the students’ needs and expectations of the school. Furthermore, if a student is expected to be a danger to themselves or others, the counselor will intervene and notify the appropriate administrator/parent in order to ensure the situation is addressed immediately.