In a perfect non-counseling duties would not be part of our schedule. There can be an upside to tasks that do not require our advanced degrees. Keep reading to see how three Confident Counselors make the most our of non-counseling duties.
Any non-counseling duty can quickly become a chance for building authentic relationships with students and staff. In fact, I would often check myself into “lunch duty” just to be able to walk around the cafeteria to dole out some high fives.
Be careful not to be a disciplinarian. You want your interactions to be light, fun and friendly. You do want to correct misbehavior, but do it in a positive, redirecting tone. You want every student to know exactly who you are and that you are approachable. Make eye contact and try to speak to every single student as often as possible.
Building authentic relationships with our students is the foundation for a successful comprehensive school counseling program.
Maximize the Time
I use my main non-counseling duties to build relationships with students and families. One of my favorite parts of the day is my morning hallway duty. I stand by our main doors and welcome kids into the building. I use this as a time to do quick check-ins with some of the students I see frequently for self-esteem or behavioral issues. It’s also a predictable spot for students to be able to find me each day.
Similarly, at the end of each day, I stand in the same spot and monitor parent pick-ups. This is a great time of day for quick check-ins with parents and guardians.
My least favorite non-counseling duty is changing the marquee sign in front of our school--it’s the kind of sign that you change letter by letter no matter the weather! After completing this task for several months on my own, I decided to change my negative mindset and began inviting a student to help me change the sign. Now, it’s a great time to talk with a student, give them an opportunity to help, and give us both a breath of fresh air!
Check-Ins and Observations
I love using bus duty to complete a quick check in/check out with many of my students. It is the perfect opportunity to build rapport with students as well as learn more about them as individuals.
It is so interesting to see how students I am working with interact and engage with their peers. Watching how a student acts in unstructured environments outside of your classroom or office setting can tell you a lot about a student. I also like to be involved with clubs and organizations on campus. Being familiar with the groups is a great way to find extra supports for students.
Need more help?
- The perfect list from ASCA with appropriate and inappropriate activities for counselors.
- 6 Sure Fire Ways to Say No to Non-Counseling Duties
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