- by Counselor Up
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.
Go To Folders
Go To Folders are exactly what they sound like. They have everything you need for a task. This can be a paper folder or a digital folder but the idea is the same. Get it together once so that next time, it’s a no-brainer. So what types of Go To Folders might be helpful?
- Open House
- Teacher Referrals for social skills, behavior, or attendance
- Small Group by Topic
- Committee Meetings
- Individual Counseling – like Solution Focused or Initial Interview documents
- Beginning of Year – needs assessment, about the counselor, scheduling
You will seriously want to kiss yourself the first year you begin the year and pull your beautiful curriculum notebook off the shelf and know everything you’re going to teach. For the whole year. Yeah- that’s right. And guess what? It’s totally doable. It’s really easier than you think.
- Use a 3 ring binder and create a divider for each grade level.
- Put your curriculum action plan first behind the binder. Now you know what your plan is. Don’t have a plan? Fill out a blank curriculum plan as you go.
- As you teach each lesson, put everything you need in sheet protectors in chronological order. I usually put my lesson plan and an original of any copies. If there are items I need that can’t fit in a notebook (like a book or a ball), I write them on a sticky and put that with the lesson plan.
Easy Peasy- really. It seems so daunting but if you chip away at it, it’s manageable and will make your life 1,532 times easier. Pinky promise.
Pick 2 Goals Per Year
We all want to do it all. But here’s the thing- that just ain’t a thing. There’s no way that you can be great at everything. If you’re really great, as soon as you get great at something, you want to get better. So pick 2 goals that you are really going to focus on this year and concentrate on those. Everything else can stay the same. Notice that doesn’t say you don’t have to do other things (lunch duty I’m talking to you). Some of the goals that I have had:
- Focus on data for my academic groups
- Increase follow up with parents after seeing students for individual counseling
- Practice and implement new strategies learned at training
- Complete a closing the gap plan from start to finish – including results.
So what’s your goal to make #schoolcounselorlife easier? Write your plan in the comments so we can all help each other out. Teamwork makes the dream work, amiright?
I work in central office supporting 140+ elementary school counselors in a large southern school district. I have been a counselor since 2003 and love working with parents, teachers, students, and other counselors. I try to be organized and proactive in my counseling program. Counselor Up is my way to share some of the ideas, organizing tools, and planning with you!
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