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4 Easy Ways to Promote National School Counseling Week

Advocating for National School Counseling Week

One week per year, school counselors from around the nation, find ways to spread the word about how school counselors positively impact their schools. National School Counseling Week (NSCW) is a week to celebrate the profession.

 

The American School Counseling Association, or ASCA, has created this week to advocate for the importance of our profession. It is not about being self-boasting. Instead, it is a necessary deed to inform your school of your impact on the school and community. Don’t be shy. Be Confident!

 

4 easy ways to advocate for the school counseling profession

 

Signs, signs, everywhere signs

Post signs and design bulletin boards showcasing the many reasons why students could see the counselor and a reminder of where your room is located.

 

I use a colorful banner with a different reason to see the counselor on each pennant. I post those at the front of each hallway. It’s always fun to watch the students reading these as they walk through the hallways.

 

Show me the data!

Use data to show off the difference you are making in your school. Using a powerpoint or keynote presentation, you can show before and after reports from test scores, attendance records, grade reports or other student data that has been positively affected by your interventions. The changes shown in those reports will be a real eye-opener for the effectiveness of your program.

 

Explain that you use standards-based lessons recommended by the American School Counseling Association (ASCA). Yes, for those who may not know at your school, counselors do have nationally recognized, research-based standards.

 

Freebies

Everybody likes getting something for free. There are many inexpensive items that you can either make with your school printer or purchase from an online promotional products website.

 

Set up a table in a centralized location in the school with helium balloons from the dollar store and prizes to attract students to the table. This could be as simple as a bookmark with your information on it, a silicone wristband with a mindful message embossed on it or an edible treat. If you ask your principal or parent organization, they may give you funding for these purchases.

 

Theme days

Have a different theme for each day during National School Counseling Week. Themes could center around social-emotional, career, and academic success. An example of a theme week could look something like the following below. However, you would want to tailor yours based on the needs of your school by reviewing the needs assessment or student survey from the beginning of the school year.

 

Monday – Career Readiness

Give away handouts with career exploration tips and helpful websites for career matching during lunch periods. Have a poster display up with trending new career options.

 

You could also create a jobs bulletin board showcasing some of the past jobs of current teachers at your school. This is a fun way to get students thinking about their future.

 

Tuesday – Study Skills

Hand out pencils or post it pads with study skills tips printed on them.

 

Wednesday – Stress Busters

Give out bookmarks with tips for reducing stress and examples of simple breathing exercises.

 

Thursday – Kindness

Post signs with suggestions for spreading kindness. Send teachers an easy kindness craft to complete with students.  An example would be spreading kindness with post it notes.  Have students write compliments on post it notes and put them throughout the school on lockers, desks, and doors.

 

Friday – Cyber Safety

Have students pledge to stay cyber safe and create healthy limits for their technology usage. Let them sign an oversized poster in the hallway. Include tips on a worksheet on how to be cautious online and how to set healthy technology boundaries and time usage limits.

 

I hope these tips were helpful for you and motivate you to spread the word about the importance of the school counseling profession. Please leave a comment with how you celebrate National School Counseling Week.

 

Check our Confident Counselors’ advice for advocating for your role.

 

National School Counseling Week

 

Advocacy

Connect with Staff as a School Counselor

Connect with staff as a school counselor

Being a school counselor or school psychologist can feel a little like you’re on your own island. You’re not a teacher, you’re not part of administrative staff; it can often seem like you don’t quite belong. To make things more difficult, many school counselors or psychologists often split their time between campuses, and are only at a certain building a few days a week. It can be challenging to connect with staff as a school counselor.

 

Starting out as a school-based counselor, I was at my school 2-3 days a week, my office was in the basement, and I was hired by an outside mental health agency, which meant that I didn’t even have a school e-mail. I think people I worked with often forgot I existed. Read More »

Advocacy, School Culture

6 Surefire Ways to Say No to Non-Counseling Duties

6 sure fire ways to say no to non-counseling duties

 

As counselors, we are driven by nature to help, nurture, and solve problems. Therefore, most of us don’t like to say no to any request. This creates a problem because there are only so many hours in the day and we have more than enough counseling duties of our own to fill those hours. So, obviously there is no extra time for non-counseling duties. Below are several tips to strengthen your “saying no” skills in the most pleasant and professional manner possible.

 

How to Stay in Your Lane

Many of us have ratios or class sizes that far exceed what is recommended in the number of students we can effectively serve. As a result, we are always busy- planning for students, working with students, and following up with families. Therefore, saying no to excessive duties outside of our job role is a really important skill for all counselors to utilize. Below are six of the most effective ways to deflect those non-counseling duties.

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Advocacy, Career Stress

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

School Counselor: Advocating for Your Role

Advocating for the Role of a School CounselorWhat do school counselors do? As professionals, we are continually answering this question as we advocate for our profession. To promote advocacy, the American School Counselor Association suggests to “speak up, reach out, and always use your data.” Counselors sometimes feel uncomfortable as they try to show their worth as a school counselor, but advocacy is necessary and will ultimately demonstrate how students are different because of what school counselors do. Here are some excellent tips and resources from Confident Counselors to assist you in advocating for your profession.

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Advocacy, Monthly CCC Tips, School Culture