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!
Present Yourself to Staff
In my school district, counselors start before teachers, so that gives me a bit of time before I have to present my counseling program. The first thing I do is ask the principal to add me to the Welcome Back Staff Meeting agenda on the first day that the staff returns. I only take about 5-10 minutes at this meeting to introduce myself with my name, background, and a brief summary of my role as campus counselor to staff, with the promise of more to come soon when I present my counseling program to them. Here are some of the other things I do to present myself to staff:
- The principal gives me an additional five minutes to introduce myself and my role at the new staff orientation.
- I meet briefly with all team leaders to review my role and how I can assist their teams. Then I find out when their weekly meetings are, so I can attend these meetings to give updates on student concerns.
- I pop in briefly to all new teachers’ classrooms to reintroduce myself and my role and personally welcome them to campus.
- I set aside some time daily where I am available to staff. This might come in the form of just attending the staff lunch or hanging out at the coffee pot in the teachers’ lounge or lingering a few minutes after any staff meetings. Alternately, I might make a morning announcement that I am available at a certain time of the day for any questions or comments they have for me.
Present Your Counseling Program to Staff
Once I have taken care of the mini-introductions, I gear up for my big counseling program presentation to staff. At my school, we ask for 30-45 minutes during a professional development day, and then we present our program to staff through a PowerPoint with handouts. We also include an ending activity where they can apply what we’ve presented to them. It is a lot of work to put the PowerPoint together, but it pays off in spades because for the rest of the year they understand what we do, how we help students, and how to utilize our services. In our presentation, we cover the following topics using lots of color, cartoons, memes, jokes, interesting anecdotes, games, prizes, and anything else we can think of to make the presentation as eye catching, interesting, and interactive as possible.
- The official characteristics and duties of our role in the school (according to the guidelines set by governing state, board, campus, national or professional organization).
- How we can support teachers in their work with students.
- How we support students.
- Procedures for how staff and students can utilize our services-especially in crisis situations.
- A summary of the top 3-5 most important points of our presentation.
Counseling Program Presentation Resources
Download a free copy of my Counseling PowerPoint Presentation template located on my homepage. Additionally, grab my Meet the Counselor booklet (available in English and Spanish). I use this booklet to present myself and my counseling program to students and parents.
I hope these tips and resources are helpful to you are as your start your school year! Feel free to use as much or as little of it as you need in creating your own program presentation. Staff knowledge of your counseling program and duties will benefit students all year long!
With over 20 years of teaching and counseling experience, I am currently a bilingual school counselor in a Central Texas public school system. When I’m not counseling, writing, or presenting, I enjoy ranch life with my husband and our menagerie of pets—all of whom practice healthy coping skills, of course!