Each year as students and staff return for another new school year, school counselors look to be prepared to meet the needs in their community – from updating the school counseling program, to assessing practices, to supporting college and career readiness, academic preparation and wellness.
- (Added 8/22/23): Resources from ASCA
- (Added 8/22/23): Resources from Keep Indiana Learning/Counselor Connect:
- Podcast: https://keepindianalearning.org/podcast/s4-e1-back-to-school-starting-the-year-out-strong/
- planning the annual calendar: https://
keepindianalearning.org/ annual-calendar-planning-for- school-counselors/
- (Added 8/22/23 from Bridget Hand, Lowell Elementary School): I love doing my Counselor introduction lessons with my students. We talk about how most of the time we meet we will be talking about them so this is my chance to tell them a little about me and then the connections we make from what they are told is great. Just like they ask about my dog or my daughter or to tell me they like the beach too, etc. Some resources I like are:
- My Counselor is a Princess, by Joey and Melanie Acker
- Mrs. Joyce Gives the Best High Fives, by Erainna Winnett
- A Helping Hand, A Story to Help Children Learn About School Counselors by Tammy Berg (I really tie into this explaining my position as being a “helping hand” and they are so great about associating what that means with me….Mrs. Hand is a helping hand….lol).
- The Rabbit Listened, by Cori Doerrfeld (I pull out a pair of rabbit ears headband and they think that is funny)
- From TpT:
teacherspayteachers.com/ Product/Meet-The-Counselor- Google-Activity-For-Beginning- Of-The-Year-Counseling- Lessons-5700829 I use this with my older students because most of them have heard from em so often they can breeze through these questions with the correct answers
teacherspayteachers.com/ Product/Meet-the-Counselor- Lesson-Activities-Flyer- Posters-Editable–3319692 This is great as there are many different options to utilize, depending on personal preference.
- (Added 8/22/23 from Karmen Riley, Mt. Healthy Elementary School)At the beginning of each school year I:
- Visit each KG class to introduce myself and leave them with a coloring sheet and info sheet to take to their guardian.
- I meet with each student 1 on 1 for “minute meetings” each year and try to complete those in August.
- I have lunch with all new students (other than KG) to get to know them, introduce myself, touch base, etc.
- At our first staff meeting, I give staff a document that tells about me, what I do and gives important dates/etc.
- (Added 8/23/23 from Dara Hardesty, South Grove Intermediate – Beech Grove ):
- How do you welcome your students back to school? Counselors attend back to school night and are two of the first faces families see when they come! We love welcoming students and families each school year. We are able to build those initial contacts with our new families and reconnect with our returning students.
- What resources do you use to introduce yourself as the school counselor and share with students and staff who you are and what you do? I work in an Intermediate building with 4th – 6th graders. One thing we do each year is minute meetings with our incoming 4th graders. We take the time to meet our new students individually, face to face for 3 minutes each and allow them to share a little about themselves and hear a little about us! For our 5th and 6th graders, we do classroom introductions and a Google Form with basic information. We explain any changes that have occurred and briefly overview what we are here to do. At that time we also start the sign ups for lunch with counselors. Students are able to sign up for a friend lunch with the counselor. This is a huge thing for our students! My lunch calendar is already booked into November!
- What is your advice to our brand new colleagues in school counseling?: Build those relationships with ALL students! Meet each students and get to know them and their families. It is a lot to take on and you will be busy all day, every day, but it really helps students! We have to start at the bottom so we can raise our students to the top! When you’re exhausted, worn out, overstretched, and overwhelmed, find that bubbly student who can bring a smile to your face. Every school has one!
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