Growing up means dealing with new situations at every turn, in every young person’s personal and social life, academic encounters, and character development. These experiences can be challenging for anybody, and require steady guidance and support to help rise above the difficulties of everyday life, and promote overall well-being.
At International School Bangkok (ISB), we aspire to lead students to success in their academic careers as well as in their overall personal progress. Our excellent group of counselors is always on hand to listen, advise, and support our students as they grow accustomed to each new situation. They can also help young people develop new skills to use in the classroom or in social settings, allowing every student to gain confidence and reach their potential in all walks of life.
The essential benefits of counseling are widely appreciated around the field of education. The American Psychological Association’s (APA) Top 20 Principles from Psychology for PreK-12 Teaching and Learning expands on the need for such attention and support. One of its central principles reads: “Interpersonal relationships and communication are critical to both the teaching-learning process and the social-emotional development of students.”
The APA focuses on the value of interpersonal relationships in providing support. It also stresses, “These relationships are essential for facilitating healthy social-emotional development of students. Given their social nature, classrooms provide a critical context for teaching social skills such as communication and respect for others.”
This message aligns with ISB’s own values of care, integrity, commitment, respect, and responsibility – demonstrating again that education is above all a human endeavor, requiring personal encouragement and direction throughout the journey.
Helping students find the path forward
With a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology and a Master’s in School Counseling, Kevin Callahan brings expertise, experience, and enthusiasm to his role as ISB’s High School Counselor. He is currently in his tenth year at ISB, out of nearly three decades of experience as a teacher and counselor in international schools. Before coming to Thailand, he worked in the US, Ecuador, Venezuela, Spain, Denmark, Syria, and Indonesia.
This vast experience in education and in life helps Mr. Callahan guide ISB students through high school and their formative years. He takes pride in having an open door policy for all learners, and he is grateful for the opportunity and privilege to be able to offer support and guidance to students as they make some of the biggest decisions of their lives. He has an extremely important role in helping high schoolers to make the best choices according to their own unique needs, interests, skills and abilities – and to help them on their journey of self-discovery.
Mr. Callahan is also a strong believer in the power of personal development, aiming to help every student learn to value the unique qualities that define who they are. In his view, the most important lessons students can learn are how to feel good about themselves, and how to live a fulfilling life that is characterized by integrity, honor, and a concern for the welfare of others.
His approach is generally not that of a problem-solver, but rather a colleague and role model who helps students learn how to solve their own problems. Their enthusiasm and intellectual curiosity provide the fuel for personal improvement, and his direction helps guide that energy in a positive direction.
By helping students learn to self-manage and self-regulate, Mr. Callahan encourages them to develop the personal skills that lead to maturity and positive growth. This support of each student’s holistic needs occurs within a safe environment where confidentiality and consent are always treated with utmost respect.
Through such measures, Mr. Callahan’s work strives to improve the well-being of the students that he works with, as well as the school community as a whole. His proactive approach to support accurately reflects our ISB attributes; adaptable, self-managing, socially-intelligent, and value-driven behavior.
The role of a school counselor at ISB extends well beyond individual counseling. It also includes a special dedication towards serving the ISB community, and most importantly our parents. Mr. Callahan’s other responsibilities include group work, presentations to parents and the wider community, tracking of student progress and well-being, and sponsorship of the Peer Tutoring program. Mr Callahan also coaches the golf teams.
Mr. Callahan does not work alone. He has the exceptional opportunity of working with a world class team of professionals, a dedicated team of counselors and two school psychologists. The psychologists also work alongside students, parents, and teachers for the benefit of all students, and if the need arises, ISB provides referrals for more in-depth counseling or therapy. It is this collective support structure and network of committed support staff in the area of mental health and administration, that puts the well-being of the students first, providing the very best in education and emotional support.
Each of our valued teachers and professionals appreciates the talents as well as the achievements of our students at all levels, working hard to help learners achieve their true potential. Mr. Callahan shows an example of passion for ones job, dedication to students and holistic support. His work is part of what forms ISB’s learning environment, that helps students develop at an individual level and leads to a quality school experience for all.
For more information about how we endeavor to support our students at International School Bangkok (ISB), please see the Counseling section of our website.