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 »
Teacher Counselor Relationships
Have you had a relationship with a teacher that did not get off on the right foot? A teacher who is resistant to a suggested intervention? Check out these tips for improving relationships with teachers in your building. When we work collaboratively with teachers, students succeed. Read More »
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
I 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.
At 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
One 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!
How is your schedule setup?
School counselor schedules can vary from building to building, district to district, and state to state. It will depend on your student population, district initiatives, best practices, and your own expertise. Read More »
Do you have something in your office you can’t live without? I don’t mean the drawer of candy. I mean those items that would make you feel less than confident if they disappeared. Check out these school counselor office must haves! I have some new ones on my list.
Using an idea from Gretchen at Speckled Moose Counseling, I’ve made a feelings check-in chart. I hung a clear shoe organizer on the wall and clipped a feelings flash card to each of the 24 pockets. Every kid I see decorates a giant popsicle stick. Every time they come in they find their stick and place it in the pocket that matches how they’re feeling.
They all automatically go to check in when they arrive at my office, and many of them move their popsicle sticks again before they leave (usually to “happy” if they weren’t already there). Kids who come in randomly often ask if they can decorate a popsicle stick too. It’s a quick and easy way to get kids to think about how they’re feeling and choose the appropriate word.
Laurie Mendoza, School Counseling Files
As a former 2nd grade teacher, I fell in love with using children’s books to teach important lessons. Children quickly relate to the characters in stories. This provides them with a unique way to understand the story’s message and apply it to their own lives.
Now, as a school counselor, one resource I cannot live without is my collection of children’s books! Books in classroom lessons are an engaging way to introduce a new topic. I also use books in my small groups and have found that students love the small group atmosphere to discuss the story.
I even use books one-on-one with students in individual sessions! We sit on the couch in my office as we read and discuss how the message in the story applies to the student’s life. For some of my students, this may be the only one-on-one reading time they get. To help me stay organized, I categorize all of the books in my office by topic. You can read more about how I use and organize my children’s books in this post on my blog.
Kate from EduKate and Inspire
When not attending meetings or providing groups and individual sessions, I live at my desk. Throughout the year, I am able to spend hours at a time completing paperwork, sending emails, playing on social media, and creating resources for TPT. Because I had become a pro at engaging in sedentary work habits, it was becoming easier for me to pack on pounds and feel down. In an effort to prevent this and keep up with my work, last year I found two game changing office essentials that I now refuse to go without- a desk bike and a Light Box.
I start my work day at 6:00 in the morning and my office lacks any natural light. I can substitute losing these important rays, by turning on my light box for 45 minutes every morning. While I catch up on emails, I place my feet in the bike pedals and burn away the calories. I have noted a significant improvement in my mood. Gone are the days that I feel guilty for not getting off my butt! I absolutely still benefit from getting up and going on walks, but these office essentials help me to feel good about myself when I need to finish important work.
It’s helpful to have of bin of sensory items for students to choose from, whether they’re coming to talk or need time to calm and refocus before returning to class. Seeing reluctant sharers open up as they engaged their senses convinced me that these items were counseling office must-haves! Some of my favorites are palm-sized massage balls, squishy gel pads, and Koosh balls. All of these items can be purchased from therapeutic toy retailers, made at home, or found in dollar stores. It’s always a good idea to have a couple of bins so you can swap them out for variety and when it’s time to clean the contents!
What can’t you live without in your office?
Counselors who plan and stay organized found the key to being a counselor who looks and feels confident. I always love hearing new tips and tricks from other counselors. Check out these gems from The Sunny Sunshine Student Support Store, Little Miss Counselor, and Mrs Bell The Crafty Counselor.
How do you plan and stay organized as a school counselor? Read More »
We set and work on goals with our students. We should do the same for ourselves and our school counseling programs. Check out how Stephanie from Bilingual Learner, Tobin from Counselor Corner, and Leah from School Counseling is Magical set program goals as school counselors.
Do you set program goals for the year? Read More »
Attendance awareness month is a great way to start your year. It emphasizes to students that being present at school is the first and necessary step. Find out what Little Miss Counselor and The DIY Counselor do at their schools.
What are you doing for Attendance Awareness Month? Read More »
One of the perks and necessities of our job is having a break during the summer to reset and get ready for another year. We have the space to reflect, enjoy some daylight, and drink coffee for pleasure rather than survival.
Managing behavior referrals often fall under the realm of school counseling. However, most school counseling programs have few, if any, behavior management components. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Confident Counselor authors are ready to share their best practices for managing behavior referrals. Heather will cover the details we need to know first when presented with a behavior. Carla has some tips for clarifying the problem with the teacher. Finally, Robyn has some solid advice on how to engage the parents. Read More »