As the end of the school year draws near, it is time to begin planning ahead for next school year. One essential end of the year task is conducting a school counseling needs assessment with your staff. Needs assessments allow you to easily gather data on the strengths and weaknesses of your services and programming. Data from the needs assessment can then be analyzed and used to drive the planning process for next school year.
Why Use a Google Form?
Using a Google Form to create a school counseling needs assessment makes the data collection process simple and paper-free. It also allows you to easily analyze the data you collect because it automatically creates charts and graphs. Further, all data is compiled in a Google Spreadsheet, which makes it easy to sort through your data and look for trends. Check out a sample school counseling needs assessment by clicking on the image below. Continue reading “Creating a School Counseling Needs Assessment Using Google Forms”
I admit I have always had a thing for rocks. I have collected my share over the years, and each time I go someplace new, I look for one to bring home. You can find them on bookshelves or windowsills in my home, each one dated with the location of where it was found. But what on earth, do rocks have to do with school counseling?
Rocks hold a sort of magical touch. Their sizes and shapes appeal to students and adults alike and I have found a few ways to add these into my counseling program. Best of all, rocks are FREE. When you have a $0 budget like I do, free goes a long way. Here are 5 ways to use rocks in your school counseling program. Continue reading “School Counseling Craftivities: 5 Ways to Use Rocks”
Do you practice regular self-care? Many counselors preach self-care to others but often fail to follow their own advice. According to the American Counseling Association, the term self-care refers to “the activities and practices that are engaged in on a regular basis to maintain and enhance a person’s health and well-being.” When counselors don’t practice regular self-care, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with stress and eventually burnout. This is why it’s important to have a self-care plan in place.
Our lives can get hectic at times with deadlines, meetings, and unforeseen crises. We become obsessed with crossing off tasks on our to-do lists and lose sight of everything else. When we feel overwhelmed, self-care is usually the first thing to go out the window. Somehow taking time out to tend to our needs becomes a luxury and we feel guilty even thinking about taking time out for ourselves. Continue reading “The Importance of Practicing Self-Care”
We all want to say that we are great at what we do. I believe we all do our best job. But, no matter what our experience level is, situations arise and we question ourselves: Did I follow best practice? Did I do everything I could? Am I missing something? Do I know what I’m doing? Suicide prevention is often one of those areas that leave us with these thoughts. It is a sensitive and delicate situation. We need to be knowledgeable and have an action plan in place. Rather than give you tips this month, we thought it would be best to provide you with resources to help navigate through these challenging situations. Below, the team of Confident Counselors shares their best resource suggestions for suicide prevention. Continue reading “Suicide Prevention Best Practices”
(Disclaimer: Apps cannot replace professional help and support. If you are concerned someone is in danger, reach out for professional help immediately and notify the child’s parent or guardian.)
We have the capability to connect to anyone in an instant yet many are feeling more alone and isolated than ever. Social media can have a negative impact on kids who are already dealing with low self-esteem and trauma due to continually comparing themselves to other people’s “highlight reel” that they craft to perfection and choose for the rest of the world to see. It can give the impression that everyone else lives much more glamorous and carefree lives than our own.
The endless cycle of sharing and comparing leads to countless possibilities of cyberbullying. Almost every app and social media outlet have the capacity to lead to cyberbullying. Kids can be constantly bombarded with harassment 24-hours a day, even from the safety of their home or bedroom. Continue reading “Suicide Prevention Apps”
At Confident Counselors, we love using materials we have at school or home for school counseling crafts. We’ve used coffee filters and tissue boxes, and now we’ve found what to do with those empty toilet paper tubes.
Writing a post on using toilet paper tubes for counseling activities required a great deal of self-restraint on my part. Do you know just how many opportunities there are to make potty puns when writing 500 words on toilet paper rolls? The answer is a LOT. Especially for a woman whose usual demographic is third grade boys. Sorry. Let’s get down to business.
At school I have an entire cabinet filled with recycled items (some might say “trash”) to use for various counseling activities and projects. Toilet paper tubes are among my favorite. Continue reading “5 Ways to Use Toilet Paper Tubes in School Counseling”
Finding ways to more effectively support families of students with autism was one of the biggest sources of growth for me as a professional. I watched everyday as parents worked to access needed services, fought against limitations other people imposed on their children, and simply tried to be a good parent to their child. Over time, I found these five ways to be simple and effective strategies to support families of students with autism. Continue reading “5 Effective Ways to Support Families of Students with Autism”
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April is Month of the Military Child, a time to celebrate and acknowledge the resiliency children of military service members demonstrate as well as the unique challenges they face and overcome. Over 1.82 million children have at least one parent in the military. These children face a unique set of challenges, from deployments and homecomings to moving across the country or world. The Military Child Education Coalition estimates that military children move 6-9 times during their K-12 education, facing multiple deployments during that time. Oftentimes, these children and their families are geographically separated from extended family members and therefore rely on the supports provided both by the military community and the education system where they are enrolled.
In this post, I’ll highlight 3 unique challenges military children face and 9 books to use in counseling to invite discussion. Continue reading “9 Books to Help Military Children”
Inspired by reading Counselor Keri’s “Five Ways To Use Coffee Filters In School Counseling,” I excitedly went through my resources and office supplies to create and share 5 ways counselors can use tissue boxes in counseling. The recycled tissue boxes below can be used both as craft projects and/or therapeutic tools in groups and individual sessions.
Self-Esteem Magazine Collage Box
Students can create a place to store affirmations, therapeutic letters, awards, and mementoes that help influence one’s sense of pride. It also serves as a nice decoration piece for your desk. This activity will take several sessions to finish, but is well worth the time prompting discussion on building self-worth.
Continue reading “5 Ways to Use Tissue Boxes in School Counseling”
It’s March already?! When did that happen? During this time of year, we inevitably see a rise in test anxiety for students and staff alike. While we cannot prevent the tests from happening, we can better prepare our students and staff to cope with these challenges. This month’s tips provide suggestions for helping students become more aware of their anxiety, ways to approach test anxiety as a school, and coping skills to manage test anxiety. You will also find that these tips come in handy for school staff at your next professional development day or faculty meeting.
Continue reading “Supporting Students with Test Anxiety”