Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Getting to Know the Counselor

I have been doing lessons the first few weeks of school on "Getting to Know the Counselor", but the lesson I have been doing in 5th grade so far is my favorite. To introduce myself as the new school counselor, I first show the students a powerpoint so that they can get to know a few things about me. Throughout the powerpoint I ask the students about some of their favorite things and interests, so I can get to know them to! This is a great way to break the ice with the students and a great way to help the students begin to feel a little more comfortable with me.

Next I ask for volunteers to come to the front of the room and put on various pieces of a costume. Each volunteer puts on a piece of the costume, and reads a script when it's their turn that describes an aspect of my job. The students love it, and it is a really interesting a different way to introduce the school counselor!

Next we discuss the componenets of the guidance program and the word confidentiality. I share with the students ways that they can notify me that they would like to visit, and we discuss different things that a student may want to come to talk to the counselor about. We also review how to fill out the Need to See the Counselor forms, and where my office and mailbox are.

Lastly, we do an activity together called "Record of Me". In this activity, the students make records and list each track on the record as a detail about themselves. I have the students share their records at the end of class, and I bring a record that I made to share a little more about myself as well. We usually listen to the Primary Focus "Start Dreamin'" cd while we work on our records.

Any way that you introduce yourself to your students, it is important that the lesson cover the components of the guidance program, the process for contacting the counselor, and confidentiality. Sharing a little bit about yourself and encouraging students to share about themselves is a great relationship building activity for that first meeting as well. Here is a link to the lesson plan if you are ever interested in using it for yourself!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Welcome Back!

Welcome back to a new school year! I have taken a new job this school year as the elementary counselor in Humboldt, Iowa. I will be working at two school buildings this year, with 500+ students and growing.

To introduce myself as the new school counselor, I did a lot of work before the school year started to get my program ready. Over the summer I created brochures explaining the elements of the elementary guidance program. I wrote seperate letters for our K-1 school, and for our 2-5 school. I also wrote letters to send home to the parents introducing myself and explaining some of the things we will be doing this year in guidance.

At open house night, which was the night before school started here, I handed out some of the brochures to parents and I handed out stickers to the students as I greeted them at the front door. It's a challenge doing events like open house when you work at two schools, but I balanced it out by spending one hour at the K-1 school and one hour at the 2-5 school.

The open house event was a great way to kick off the school year, and I am looking forward this year to what is to come!!