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

15 Must Have Books for Elementary School Counselors

15 Must-Have Books for Elementary School Counselors. Books on feelings, personal safety, incarceration, growth mindset, friendship, self-esteem.

Hello Confident Elementary Counselors!  Kate, Susan, and Vanessa here to share with you some of our favorite books for elementary school counselors. The three of us have teamed up to tell you about the books we love and also tell you a bit about ourselves. As elementary counselors, we know that books are an important tool to use in our programming. Children can easily connect to the characters in stories, which helps them begin to apply the message to their own life. Join us as we tell you more about ourselves and our favorite books for elementary school counselors! Read More »

Bibliotherapy, Product Review

An Honest Review of SCUTA Pro for Tracking School Counseling Time

SCUTA Pro

“Tracking school counseling time is my favorite task,” said no counselor ever. (especially not The Counseling Teacher!) I have to admit that keeping a time usage log makes me cringe.  From phone calls and emails, to every conversation in the hallway, we are always working towards meeting the recommended time usage percentages posted by the American School Counseling Association (ASCA). When I think of all of the things I could accomplish instead of this tedious task, I squirm.  Then I remind myself that this is not about me. This is about the students. This is about providing a data driven, research based, school counseling program for my amazing community. After struggling with spending too much time with various data collection methods, I knew that our current method wasn’t working.  Then one fine day, my fellow counselor, Mrs. Carla Christian and I stumbled upon a little gem called SCUTA Pro. To make it even sweeter, we were able to secure a grant to cover the yearly fee.  And we were off.

First things first, we do not get any financial gain from SCUTA Pro for this review. We’ve been using it for 2 years for tracking school counseling time and have no complaints. I really wanted to share our journey because it has helped us so much and I hope it will help others as well.  Overall, it has been a user-friendly way to analyze the effectiveness of our program.

 

Top 3 Reasons We Continue to Choose SCUTA Pro for Tracking School Counseling Time

Time Savings

The website is very easy to navigate. Whenever we couldn’t figure something out, we were able to get assistance right away through an email to customer service.  Sometimes the owner would email OR CALL us to make sure that we were comfortable with the program. My favorite feature that came out our second year of use is the “repeat” option that allows me to easily fill in a recurring activity that I do on a regular basis.  When entering data, categories are already filled so that you can easily choose from a drop down menu without typing it out. Finally, my counseling supervisor can look up my data in real time without asking me to send in a report.

ASCA Categories

The first thing that drew us to SCUTA was the fact that it followed the  ASCA National Model recommendations. The time categories come straight from ASCA. Carla and I are sure that our SCUTA reports were critical in helping us prepare for and obtain RAMP certification for our middle school. After winning RAMP, our district decided to pick up the tab on our SCUTA fees and provide the service to all of the schools in our district.

Detailed Reports

Colorful, visual graphs help us keep track of percentages for our use of time based on ASCA recommendations. With a quick glance at the colors on the calendar pages, it’s pretty clear instantly if we are making our goals. We use this data to self-reflect and plan our time in a way that helps us maximize the effectiveness of our program. We also use these reports to share our progress with stakeholders. I can look up by student name or type of activity. I can also choose a time period which is helpful when I’m analyzing each quarter.

Week at a Glance Calendar View

Advice for First Time Users

One thing I learned from the first two years of using SCUTA Pro is that it would be a good idea to spend some time reading over the categories and subcategories and deciding how to best label certain activities. For instance, some duties that may seem like non-counseling related tasks are actually counseling tasks. If you look at how you perform your daily duties, you could easily turn meaningless tasks into meaningFUL tasks.  For instance, early morning car duty could be used as a time when you warmly greet families which falls under the PBIS counseling task.

Finally, I love how the owners are continually getting feedback from counselors to keep the program up to date and as helpful as possible. I’m excited to see next year’s version. I know they are constantly improving and making time-saving additions.  If you still have questions, you can leave a comment or contact me directly.

This is an honest review of SCUTA Pro and three reasons why we use it for tracking school counseling time to evaluate our school counseling program.

 

Product Review

10 Ways to Prepare During the Summer

School Counselor Summer Prep. 10 ways to prepare this summer to ensure their year is off to a great, confident start. #schoolcounselorprep

Summer is finally here and we all have time to breathe and decompress from another whirlwind year of advocating and empowering! If you’re like us, after a week or so of sipping lemonade by the pool, you might be getting the itch to start planning for another successful year. CounselorChelsey and Counselor Keri are here to share 10 things school counselors can do during the summer to prepare for the school year!

Review your data from the year

What programs and initiatives were successful? Where is there room for improvement? Begin looking for new data-driven interventions to address those areas that were not as successful (and celebrate the areas that were!). Use your data to determine which topics you will cover in classroom guidance lessons and small group programs. Read More »

Back to School

Confident Counselors is Turning One!

Confident Counselors

 

Social Emotional WorkshopSay Happy Birthday to the Confident Counselors Newsletter!

Almost a year ago Confident Counselors began. It started with me chattering on about how being the only person in your school doing your job is a uniquely challenging, to say the least.

There is no one in my building to share resources with or ask for advice. Do I really have to go to the professional development sessions on the new math curriculum? My supervisor has a teaching degree in English. If one more teacher insinuates that all I do is play games with kids. Oh, the teachers got an entirely new writing curriculum, and I have to create all my materials for my an entire building.

Feeling confident yet? Ugh. All I wanted was to make those negative thoughts go away for people like me and replace that with beaming confidence.

I reached out to my (better than real life) friends from school counseling Facebook groups. The little idea grew and grew in excited, passionate chats. Within a few months, more than 20 of us committed to collaborating on a monthly newsletter that we hoped would begin to fill the gaps we saw and felt.

We wanted to provide real life advice, counselor tested products, best practice resources, links to quality professional development sessions, and humor where we could find it. We wanted to help people feel confident that they too were amazing, essential professionals in a school building.

Now, we have to own that confident label and take it up a level. You all were so kind and enthusiastic about our content this past year, we want to put out more of it. This year, we will be moving our newsletter into a regular blog. Here’s what you can expect:

  • 2-3 blog posts per week
  • A monthly email/newsletter with the most popular posts, recommended resources, and confident musings.
  • Giveaways and exclusive freebies

Over the next month, we will be doing giveaways for our email subscribers. If you are on our list, keep a lookout on Facebook, Instagram, or your inbox to see if you won. Look for ways to get extra entries. We are so excited about being a valued resources for you during this next year.

Be #aconfidentcounselor

Confident Counselors Blog

Our 5 most popular posts of 2017

 

Uncategorized

Creating a School Counseling Needs Assessment Using Google Forms

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. Read More »

Technology

School Counseling Craftivities: 5 Ways to Use Rocks

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. Read More »

Craftivities

The Importance of Self-Care

Self Care for School Counselors

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. Read More »

Career Stress, School Culture

Suicide Prevention Best Practices

Suicide Prevention Best Practices

 

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.  Read More »

Monthly CCC Tips, Suicide

Suicide Prevention Apps

Suicide Prevention

 

(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. Read More »

Crisis, Suicide, Technology