Counseling Craftivities

Confident Conversations

Conversations: Bullying Awareness Month is Next Week

Bullying Awareness Month is coming up in October. It is an important month to highlight anti-bullying programs and initiatives in your school. If your school doesn’t directly or effectively address bullying, it is a great time to open up conversations with your administration.

Bullying Awareness Month

The Sunny Sunshine Student Support StoreI find that my students believe that any misunderstanding, problem, or conflict is bullying. I like to educate my students on what exactly bullying is and how it differs from conflicts, accidents, and misunderstandings. Then, I work on giving my students the tools to help manage these situations.

– The Sunny Sunshine Student Support

Bilingual LearnerAt my school, we prepare for Bullying Awareness Month with lots of support and info-sharing through guidance lessons. I am at a middle school, so kids picking on each other often goes with the territory. I use a specific guidance lesson to introduce the bullying topic with definitions, and “what to do if” scenarios.

 

Here is a link to the bullying guidance lesson if you’d like to check it out. Then, in the next guidance lesson on this topic, I take our school resource officer (police officer) in with me and he explains the legalities of bullying to students. I am in Texas, which just passed very strict anti-bullying interventions through David’s Law, so we spend a lot of time and effort on this topic during Bullying Awareness Month and year round.

Stephanie from Bilingual Learner

Social Emotional WorkshopOne important perspective change I had about bullying came after hearing Ross Greene speak. He emphasized that in the bully-victim relationship, there were skills lacking on both sides. Since then, I coach others to think about bullies with skill deficits that need intervention, rather than as a bad kid. This month, consider intensive interventions that focus on social problem solving, empathy building, and impulse control.

 

Check out Ross Greene’s article B is for Bullies (and the Bullied) and advocate for policies that go beyond zero tolerance and create a school climate where bullying is solved and not managed.

-Laura from Social Emotional Workshop

Check out our other posts on Bullying and share what you do in the comments!

Bullying awareness month and suggestions

Bullying

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

Self-Care for School Counselors: How To Prioritize Your Day

School Counselor Self-Care

It is no secret that school counselors wear A LOT of hats throughout the school year. We are stretched in many different directions and can be left feeling “spent” by the end of each day. Self-care for school counselors can be a challenge. Although counselors are great at encouraging others to practice self-care, it can be difficult to put it into practice in our own lives. When we take the time to rest, recharge, and practice self-care, we become more effective at helping others.  Read More »

Career Stress

Conversations: What Can’t You Live Without in Your Office?

Do you have something in your office you can’t live without? I don’t mean the drawer of candy. I mean those items that would make you feel less than confident if they disappeared. Check out these school counselor office must haves! I have some new ones on my list.

 

School Counseling FilesUsing an idea from Gretchen at Speckled Moose Counseling, I’ve made a feelings check-in chart. I hung a clear shoe organizer on the wall and clipped a feelings flash card to each of the 24 pockets. Every kid I see decorates a giant popsicle stick. Every time they come in they find their stick and place it in the pocket that matches how they’re feeling.

 

Feelings Bulletin Board from Speckled Moose Counseling

 

They all automatically go to check in when they arrive at my office, and many of them move their popsicle sticks again before they leave (usually to “happy” if they weren’t already there). Kids who come in randomly often ask if they can decorate a popsicle stick too. It’s a quick and easy way to get kids to think about how they’re feeling and choose the appropriate word.  

Laurie Mendoza, School Counseling Files

EduKate & InspireAs a former 2nd grade teacher, I fell in love with using children’s books to teach important lessons. Children quickly relate to the characters in stories. This provides them with a unique way to understand the story’s message and apply it to their own lives.

Now, as a school counselor, one resource I cannot live without is my collection of children’s books! Books in classroom lessons are an engaging way to introduce a new topic. I also use books in my small groups and have found that students love the small group atmosphere to discuss the story.

I even use books one-on-one with students in individual sessions! We sit on the couch in my office as we read and discuss how the message in the story applies to the student’s life.  For some of my students, this may be the only one-on-one reading time they get. To help me stay organized, I categorize all of the books in my office by topic. You can read more about how I use and organize my children’s books in this post on my blog.  

Kate from EduKate and Inspire

Mental Fills on TPTWhen not attending meetings or providing groups and individual sessions, I live at my desk. Throughout the year, I am able to spend hours at a time completing paperwork, sending emails, playing on social media, and creating resources for TPT. Because I had become a pro at engaging in sedentary work habits, it was becoming easier for me to pack on pounds and feel down. In an effort to prevent this and keep up with my work, last year I found two game changing office essentials that I now refuse to go without- a desk bike and a Light Box.

I start my work day at 6:00 in the morning and my office lacks any natural light. I can substitute losing these important rays, by turning on my light box for 45 minutes every morning. While I catch up on emails, I place my feet in the bike pedals and burn away the calories. I have noted a significant improvement in my mood. Gone are the days that I feel guilty for not getting off my butt! I absolutely still benefit from getting up and going on walks, but these office essentials help me to feel good about myself when I need to finish important work.

Robyn at Mental Fills

Counselor KeriIt’s helpful to have of bin of sensory items for students to choose from, whether they’re coming to talk or need time to calm and refocus before returning to class. Seeing reluctant sharers open up as they engaged their senses convinced me that these items were counseling office must-haves! Some of my favorites are palm-sized massage balls, squishy gel pads, and Koosh balls. All of these items can be purchased from therapeutic toy retailers, made at home, or found in dollar stores. It’s always a good idea to have a couple of bins so you can swap them out for variety and when it’s time to clean the contents!

Keri from Counselor Keri

School Counselor Office Must Haves

 

What can’t you live without in your office?

Ultimate School Counselor Supply List

Uncategorized

5 Steps to Handle a Student Crisis

How to Handle a student crisis in 5 effective steps

There are so many wonderful aspects to being a school counselor; however, handling student crises can be a large and emotionally draining part of the school counselor’s job. As a result, it is important to have clear and effective protocols in place to handle a student crisis. Suicide prevention is another crucial part of every school counseling program and effective prevention strategies can help a school minimize the number of student crises that occur.

I feel prepared and confident with these 5 effective steps to handle a student crisis. Read More »

Crisis, Suicide

5 Ways to Use Play Doh in School Counseling

School Counseling Activities: 5 ways to use Play Doh in school counseling: feelings identification, family changes, anger release, mandalas, and more

 

Students light up the moment Play Doh appears in any school setting, and school counseling is no exception. Play Doh is not only a great sensory tool that puts students at ease when discussion potentially difficult topics, but it is the perfect creative outlet to engage students in individual and small group counseling to explore feelings, family changes, and more! Read below to explore 5 ways you can use Play Doh in school counseling. Read More »

Craftivities

5 School Counseling Office Must Haves

Environment matters. From the office walls to your desktop, what you put in your school counseling office sets the tone for your relationship with your students. How do you make your students feel welcome? What do you want your students to be doing and thinking when they come into your office? For me, it’s all about feeling calm, trusted, and invited. There are five must-have items in my office. These are the items that I rely on the most when a student walks in my door.

School Counseling Office Must-Haves

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Back to School

5 Classroom Management Strategies for School Counselors

Classroom management is challenging. It can be even more difficult to perfect when you only see the students once a week, at most. As school counselors, we often don’t have the time to implement intricate classroom management strategies when we are doing small groups or classroom guidance lessons. Here are some of my favorite tips to help keep students calm and focused during your counseling lessons. Read More »

Behavior, Classroom Management