Conversations: What Do You Do for Self-Care?

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.

Check out some great ideas for self-care from Gretchen from Speckled Moose Counseling, Laurie from School Counseling Files, and Jodi from The School Counselor Is In. Read More »

Career Stress

8 Steps to Build Student-Led School-Community Engagement

Student-Led School-Community Engagement

Career education is an integral aspect of the school counseling program, but educating students on community helpers and their own career interests is just the beginning. Students have the capacity to be contributing community members right now, no matter their grade level. School counselors can walk alongside them as they discover ways they can engage in and contribute to the community. Building school-community engagement not only gives students a window to career options available to them but also leads to positive school outcomes. Schools that link classroom activities to community projects also see dividends in improved school behaviors, reduced suspension rates, improved academic achievement, higher graduation rates, and improved ability to work effectively in a team

 

Community engagement can be a school-wide or grade level initiative integrated into the classroom guidance program or tackled on a smaller scale through a service club. This type of project affords counselors the opportunity to create an environment where students have a sense of belonging in the school environment, help students understand the importance of short- and long-term goal setting, take ownership of the project through self-motivation and self-direction, practice working cooperatively in a group, form relationships with adults who support success, and explore character traits such as conservationism, loyalty, leadership, and more. Read More »

Back to School, School Culture

Why You Should Be Using SMART Goals in Counseling

SMART goals are incredible tools that can help you measure student progress and structure plans for counseling sessions. SMART Goals also fundamentally changed my approach to counseling, by giving students agency and engagement in their own improvement.

 

During my first five years as a school psychologist, my counseling sessions were full of social skills games, executive functioning checklists, and all the self-esteem projects you could imagine. Kids loved coming to counseling and I thought I was doing a pretty bang up job. Until Trey. Read More »

Individual Counseling, Setting Goals

These 5 Tips Make It So Easy to Welcome New Students

Whether it is the beginning of the school year or the middle of April, one important role of a school counselor is to make sure that new students feel welcome at your school. Depending on the dynamics of your school, you may receive varying amounts of new students throughout the school year. At my suburban Title 1 school in Ohio, we receive about 40 new students at the beginning of the year.  We also receive an additional 10-15 new students throughout the school year.  Here are 5 tips to welcome new students that have helped prepare students for success at my school.  Read More »

Back to School

5 Ways to Use Lunch Bags in Counseling and Therapy

school counseling crafts: lunch bags.

Following the positive response of Five Ways To Use Tissue Boxes in Counseling,” I wanted to share additional ways I use crafts in my therapy practice. Because brown lunch bags are inexpensive, easily accessible, and inspire creativity, they have been my go to for child play therapy.  I have narrowed down my list of therapeutic uses into five projects that may be used in groups, individual sessions, and/or even in the classroom. 

The Mindless Monster

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Craftivities, Individual Counseling

Making Counseling Groups Work

Groups. Do you love them or hate them? I remember in grad school learning about group theory, the ideal selection process, and writing lesson plans for 12 45-minute sessions. When I started at my first school and saw the reality – way more kids than time, 20 minute lunch groups (while eating), and kids who struggle to even participate. I used to hate groups. Then I got myself together and decided to own my groups instead of the other way around.

Make a Plan Read More »

Group Counseling

How to Have an Organized First Week as a School Counselor

Organized First Week as a School Counselor

Happy Hot Summer, Everyone! I hope you are managing to stay cooler than I am here in Texas. I can’t guarantee working air conditioning, but I can give you a post full of tips for having an organized first week as a school counselor.  We are going to get your counseling office and program set up for the beginning of the school year.

If you are like me, the sight of a disorganized office is overwhelming.  This, combined with the thought of setting up my entire counseling program, can sap all my inspiration and motivation for the rest of the day! To keep us all calm and forward-moving, here are 10 tips for how to have an organized first week as a school counselor. Your program will be in order by the time everyone returns, guaranteed! Read More »

Back to School

Managing Disruptive Behavior Referrals

Managing Behavioral Referrals for Disruptive Behaivior

 

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 »

Behavior, Classroom Management, Parents, Teacher Consultation

3 Organization Tips for a Great Year

3 Organization Tips

 

Organization is my jam. I may or may not get ridiculously excited about school supplies and organizing systems. I recently starting a grad school program at night and I had more fun than a toddler in a candy store setting up my notebook. But I know not everyone is so geeky inclined. Sometimes others think organized people are so together but, the secret is, I’m lazy. I want to do it once so I don’t have to think about it later. In that spirit, I want to share with you 3 school counselor organization tips that will make your school counselor life easier. Read More »

Back to School