The IEU’s popular exchange program offers opportunities for school counsellors as well as teachers.Debbie Robinson, counsellor at Loyola Senior College in Mt Druitt, has swapped places with Tracy Tifenbach, of Johnson Heights Secondary School in Surrey, British Columbia.
These schools draw from a similar socio-economic base and demography. But both women identified a major difference in the role of counsellors in Canada compared to Australia.
Canadian counsellors take a much more active role in areas usually reserved for teachers in Australia, such as subject selection and the transition from primary school to high school.
“There’s a lot of involvement for the counsellor in this area, attending meetings doing presentations and spending quite a long time building timetables and helping students select courses,” Tracy said.