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.
Back to school
Once we have forgotten how great sleeping in feels, we definitely believe this is the best time of year. The slate is wiped clean. We get to start another year, more experienced and more confident.
So hold your head high, bring those shoulders back, and bookmark these 10 tips with comments from your favorite Confident Counselors.
Start with the Foundation
Set Goals, S.M.A.R.T. Ones
Make a plan for the year and write it down— Rebecca, Counselor Up
Get in the habit of keeping to a schedule. Time can slip away, so be sure to budget your time wisely! Prioritize! — Counselor Traci R. Brown
Everything Has Its Place
Print, laminate, and organize all materials you think you will need during the first semester. When things get hectic, you’ll feel prepared knowing those materials are ready to go! — Keri, Counselor Keri
As much as I hate spending a summer day (or two) at school prepping, I always feel better starting the year with all of my new supplies & office in order. Permission slips and bulletin boards for new students groups are done before the kids start. Being organized allows me to be available for student issues those first few days — Gretchen, Speckled Moose Counseling
Create caseload list and “frequent fliers”. Organize it by grade/class and issue (e.g., emotional regulation, anxiety, study skills, social skills). This is your jumping off point for creating your first round of counseling groups — Laurie Mendoza, School Counseling Files
I have craft activities that go along with lessons, but it is a ton of prep work. I have found kids LOVE to help, especially 6th grade girls! Kids sign up to be on the The Helper Squad. They are eager to help and it makes them feel good doing a service for others. Some of my favorite times are being with these kids helping me prepare something fun to add to my lesson — Jodi, The School Counselor Is In
August Words of Wisdom for Back to School from our Favorite School Counseling Bloggers
Rebecca, Counselor Up: 5 Things to Do in Your First Week as a New School Counselor
Heather, The Helpful Counselor: 20 Things School Counselors Should Do Before School Starts
Carol Miller, The Middle School Counselor: 10 Things to Do for Back to School
Stephanie, Bilingual Learner: Back to School for ESL Teachers and Counselors
Counselor Traci R. Brown: Back to School Series: Must Have Items
Entirely Elementary School Counseling: Beginning School Counselor-What Your Need to Know
Don’t forget Confident Counselors Top Ten Tips for Back to School