Counseling Craftivities

Confident Conversations

6 Tips for Making Recess Inclusive

6 tips to make recess inclusive so that it is a positive experience that helps foster social skills and friendships.

 

Recess can be the best part of a kid’s day or it can be a major source of stress and anxiety. For some kids, this is when they are finally able to run free and let off some steam. They love the carefree wiggle time where they can focus on being a kid and enjoy playing with their friends.

 

Other students aren’t as lucky and do not love recess. There is a multitude of reasons why a child may not enjoy this unstructured free time. For many, their dislike stems from their lack of friendships or the necessary social skills needed to join in with others. With a little bit of help to be comfortable and one person willing to be a friend, they would love this time as well.

 

Here are six tips for making recess inclusive for all students as they learn the social skills to develop and maintain friendships. Read More »

Back to School, Bullying

Positivity Works: Stepping Out of Negativity

In my third year of my school counseling career, a student asked me “What’s wrong with you Mrs. Atkins? You used to smile.” Wow, out of the mouths of babes, right? The daily grind of our work can start to grind down the positivity that brought us into this helping career in the first place. I know that not only had my attitude suffered but so did my relationships with students. Read More »

Career Stress

10 Free Bullying Prevention Resources

10 free resources for bullying prevention lessons. Teach students about bullying awareness with these free videos, websites, books, and more.

October is Bullying Prevention Month, which means many counselors will be searching for resources to help bring awareness to bullying. It can be a challenge to find bullying resources that are not only helpful but also FREE! Listed below are 10 free bullying prevention resources that can be used for classroom lessons and school-wide programming in elementary and middle schools.

Free Bullying Prevention Resources for Lower Elementary

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Book Suggestions, Bullying

Conversations: Favorite Book to Use in Counseling

We all have a favorite book to use in counseling with students. Children’s literature can be a great, engaging way to open up conversations, address issues, and help students connect with a character who is experiencing the same issues as them. Three Confident Counselors have some great suggestions and companion resources to help you use these favorite books.  Read More »

Bibliotherapy

Connect with Staff as a School Counselor

Connect with staff as a school counselor

Being a school counselor or school psychologist can feel a little like you’re on your own island. You’re not a teacher, you’re not part of administrative staff; it can often seem like you don’t quite belong. To make things more difficult, many school counselors or psychologists often split their time between campuses, and are only at a certain building a few days a week. It can be challenging to connect with staff as a school counselor.

 

Starting out as a school-based counselor, I was at my school 2-3 days a week, my office was in the basement, and I was hired by an outside mental health agency, which meant that I didn’t even have a school e-mail. I think people I worked with often forgot I existed. Read More »

Advocacy, School Culture

Make Your Student Observations Comprehensive

As a school psychologist, student observations were regularly a part of my day. For special education evaluations, I observed students in multiple settings with multiple adults doing multiple tasks. I came to know that student in depth and felt ready to suggest supports that could make a difference.

 

I soon realized that these student observations could be an invaluable part of referrals for counseling or behavior support. Much more than special education evaluation referrals, I was stopped regularly with concerns about friendship drama, classroom management, explosive behaviors, suddenly anxious students, among others on a long list. Usually in the hallway without any paper on me.  Read More »

Behavior, Individual Counseling

Conversations: Bullying Awareness Month is Next Week

Bullying Awareness Month is coming up in October. It is an important month to highlight anti-bullying programs and initiatives in your school. If your school doesn’t directly or effectively address bullying, it is a great time to open up conversations with your administration.

Bullying Awareness Month

The Sunny Sunshine Student Support StoreI find that my students believe that any misunderstanding, problem, or conflict is bullying. I like to educate my students on what exactly bullying is and how it differs from conflicts, accidents, and misunderstandings. Then, I work on giving my students the tools to help manage these situations.

– The Sunny Sunshine Student Support

Bilingual LearnerAt my school, we prepare for Bullying Awareness Month with lots of support and info-sharing through guidance lessons. I am at a middle school, so kids picking on each other often goes with the territory. I use a specific guidance lesson to introduce the bullying topic with definitions, and “what to do if” scenarios.

 

Here is a link to the bullying guidance lesson if you’d like to check it out. Then, in the next guidance lesson on this topic, I take our school resource officer (police officer) in with me and he explains the legalities of bullying to students. I am in Texas, which just passed very strict anti-bullying interventions through David’s Law, so we spend a lot of time and effort on this topic during Bullying Awareness Month and year round.

Stephanie from Bilingual Learner

Social Emotional WorkshopOne important perspective change I had about bullying came after hearing Ross Greene speak. He emphasized that in the bully-victim relationship, there were skills lacking on both sides. Since then, I coach others to think about bullies with skill deficits that need intervention, rather than as a bad kid. This month, consider intensive interventions that focus on social problem solving, empathy building, and impulse control.

 

Check out Ross Greene’s article B is for Bullies (and the Bullied) and advocate for policies that go beyond zero tolerance and create a school climate where bullying is solved and not managed.

-Laura from Social Emotional Workshop

Check out our other posts on Bullying and share what you do in the comments!

Bullying awareness month and suggestions

Bullying

6 Surefire Ways to Say No to Non-Counseling Duties

6 sure fire ways to say no to non-counseling duties

 

As counselors, we are driven by nature to help, nurture, and solve problems. Therefore, most of us don’t like to say no to any request. This creates a problem because there are only so many hours in the day and we have more than enough counseling duties of our own to fill those hours. So, obviously there is no extra time for non-counseling duties. Below are several tips to strengthen your “saying no” skills in the most pleasant and professional manner possible.

 

How to Stay in Your Lane

Many of us have ratios or class sizes that far exceed what is recommended in the number of students we can effectively serve. As a result, we are always busy- planning for students, working with students, and following up with families. Therefore, saying no to excessive duties outside of our job role is a really important skill for all counselors to utilize. Below are six of the most effective ways to deflect those non-counseling duties.

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Advocacy, Career Stress