Counseling Craftivities

Confident Conversations

5 Classroom Management Strategies for School Counselors

Classroom management is challenging. It can be even more difficult to perfect when you only see the students once a week, at most. As school counselors, we often don’t have the time to implement intricate classroom management strategies when we are doing small groups or classroom guidance lessons. Here are some of my favorite tips to help keep students calm and focused during your counseling lessons. Read More »

Behavior, Classroom Management

How to Present Your Counseling Program and Role to Staff

During back to school season, my co-counselors and I put together a presentation for staff about our counseling program. It is crucial to present your counseling program and what your job entails. Even if you spend most of your work week on one campus with the same colleagues and administrators, many staff probably do not know all that you do. This can be tricky because when colleagues and administrators don’t know what we do, they might think we need things to do. Or worse, they might feel resentful if they think our job has fewer responsibilities than their job. To help you start off right, I have lots of tips and resources to create a presentation that lets you explain your dynamic program to your staff. But first, let’s talk a bit about how to present yourself as their go-to resource on all things counseling! Read More »

Advocacy, Back to School, Crisis, School Culture

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