Counseling Craftivities

Confident Conversations

Conversations: Confidentiality in School Counseling

What do you share with parents, teachers or your administration about a student’s progress or participation in school counseling services? Is your confidentiality policy considerate of student trust as well as student growth?

 

All or Nothing Confidentiality Policies Limit Progress

Social Emotional WorkshopConfidentiality is there to build trust and rapport while working towards goals. Students, elementary through high school, benefit from wrap-around services to make meaningful progress. They need multiple adults helping them practice skills and reinforcing their efforts. If we do not share information with relevant adults, I think we limit the progress they could make. Read More »

Individual Counseling, Monthly CCC Tips

Strategies for Managing Negative Attention Seeking

STOP, DROP, ROLL and CONNECT

I want to share a few helpful strategies I have found useful in managing negative attention seeking children. These are the children that push our buttons. They do what they can to sabotage yours or the group’s focus, and it’s frustrating. I am talking about the kids that whine, tattle tell, make obnoxious jokes, exaggerate, lie, question your materials, avoid assignments, and even the children that overly offer help at the most inappropriate times. Read More »

Behavior, Classroom Management

Conversations: Phone Calls from an Angry Parent

How Do You Handle a Phone Call from an Angry Parent?

It may be one of the worst parts of the job and seems to happen at 3:05 on a Friday afternoon. Those calls are tough to manage and tough to not take personally. Take a deep breath and check out our colleagues’ great tips for turning that call around into a productive problem-solving relationship. You will see that listening is a common theme. 😉 Read More »

Monthly CCC Tips, Parents

Teaching Study Skills as Part of Your Counseling Curriculum

Teaching study skills as part of your counseling curriculum

As school counselors, it’s easy to talk to students about things that are bugging them, help with problems they are having, and be their champion when they need one. It’s much more difficult to teach skills that provide documented data-driven results. When student progress is hindered by their lack of study skills, it is our job to help them learn the skills necessary to make improvements that will help them find academic success. But how can we teach these study skills and know that students made a meaningful improvement? It takes time, patience, practice opportunities, and good data recording.

Here’s what I have done in my own program to help teach study skills. Read More »

Study Skills

Conversations: Addressing Cutting and Self-Harm

Addressing Cutting Behaviors

Cutting and other non-suicidal self-harm behaviors are signs of situations in need of immediate attention. School counselors are often among the first to become aware of these behaviors and have an opportunity to respond quickly and effectively. Robyn from Mental Fills, Laura from Social Emotional Workshop, and Carol Miller, The Middle School Counselor share some tips from their experiences. Please check out the links at the bottom of this post for additional best practices. Read More »

Crisis, Suicide

Conversations: Tips and Tricks for Behavior Plans

What are your tips and tricks for behavior plans?

 

Data Driven Behavior Plans

The Sunny Sunshine Student Support StoreBehavior plans should be developed with a team who knows the students best (e.g., school staff, parents, and even the student!). The first step to an effective behavior plan is a thorough Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA). This determines the antecedents, target behavior definition and the consequences of the behavior. A great FBA will include information about the settings, frequency, times of day, intensity, duration, the hypothesis as to why the behavior occurs, and an assessment of the student’s preferences for reinforcement. Read More »

Behavior, Monthly CCC Tips

How to Plan a Successful Mix it Up at Lunch Day

Mix it Up at Lunch Day challenges students to get out of their comfort zone and engage with others, helping to create a more inclusive school. Begun by the organization, Teaching Tolerance, it is held on the last Tuesday of October. Students sit in a different seat in the cafeteria and interact with peers during their lunchtime. Preparation, activities, and follow-up are important to consider in hosting a Mix it Up at Lunch Day.

 

 

Read More »

School Culture

6 Tips for Making Recess Inclusive

6 tips to make recess inclusive so that it is a positive experience that helps foster social skills and friendships.

 

Recess can be the best part of a kid’s day or it can be a major source of stress and anxiety. For some kids, this is when they are finally able to run free and let off some steam. They love the carefree wiggle time where they can focus on being a kid and enjoy playing with their friends.

 

Other students aren’t as lucky and do not love recess. There is a multitude of reasons why a child may not enjoy this unstructured free time. For many, their dislike stems from their lack of friendships or the necessary social skills needed to join in with others. With a little bit of help to be comfortable and one person willing to be a friend, they would love this time as well.

 

Here are six tips for making recess inclusive for all students as they learn the social skills to develop and maintain friendships. Read More »

Back to School, Bullying

Positivity Works: Stepping Out of Negativity

In my third year of my school counseling career, a student asked me “What’s wrong with you Mrs. Atkins? You used to smile.” Wow, out of the mouths of babes, right? The daily grind of our work can start to grind down the positivity that brought us into this helping career in the first place. I know that not only had my attitude suffered but so did my relationships with students. Read More »

Career Stress