Teacher Counselor Relationships
Have you had a relationship with a teacher that did not get off on the right foot? A teacher who is resistant to a suggested intervention? Check out these tips for improving relationships with teachers in your building. When we work collaboratively with teachers, students succeed.
During a time when I was split between two buildings, I had a teacher who expressed some resistance in regards to implementing a behavior support plan for a student. Because I was only in the building 1-2 days per week, it was sometimes difficult to be seen as a team member. In an effort to prevent this relationship from becoming negative, I asked the teacher if we could have lunch together one day and offered to pick up lunch from her favorite restaurant. We ate together and really got to know each other. She shared with me about the stress she was feeling in the classroom and how the behavior support plan felt like “one more thing” piled on her plate. We agreed that the plan itself was not really the issue and agreed to meet outside of school to do some self-care together! Making the effort to get to know this teacher as an individual rather than just a “resistant colleague” resulted in one of my best professional relationships and friendships.
The teachers at my first job had never had a school psychologist that did more than test. They didn’t know what to make of me, my behavior plans, and counseling. After a few months of stalled interventions, I realized I needed to be purposeful about my relationships with teachers just like I was with students.
Before school each morning, I went around to the classrooms. I picked one or two grade levels and I chatted with teachers and helped them set up for the day. We discussed concerns they had, easy strategies they could try, and made notes to reconnect about what worked and what didn’t. This consistent and easy interaction made all the difference for me, teachers, and most importantly our students.
Check out my other tips on how to develop relationships with teachers this year.
-Laura from Social Emotional Workshop
Developing positive relationships with teachers is so important. Throughout my career as a school counselor, there have been times when I have felt a teacher did not particularly care for me. Because of this, I spent a lot of time feeling upset and at a loss of what to do. One simple thing I do now, which has made a HUGE difference, is taking note of important events that are going on in their life and taking the time to acknowledge them. An example of this is at the beginning of the school year, I write down all program performances and other important class events that will take place during the coming months. On the day of those events, I will leave a note of encouragement and small treat on that teacher’s desk as a way to show care and support. This small gesture has been well received and has helped me strengthen my relationships with all teachers in a positive manner.
-Jodi from The School Counselor Is In