How do you handle individual referrals?

Most of you have a “go to” way to set up appointments, but since I’ve seen/heard this question recently…. here is the best way I have come up with to see individual referrals. So, for any newbies to the elementary world, or if you want to refresh some of your forms…. enjoy!


  1. During my intro to the counselor lesson (which is usually a mini lesson I do in the first 2 weeks of school), I tell the kids (and the teachers who I ask to stay in the room) how to see me if they want to chat. I discuss how my job is to help them learn to solve problems so that their brain can get back to thinking and leave more room in their brain for learning.
  2. I show the students the forms they can fill out  Click here for student  request forms. I leave a packet in the room and say “Mrs. ____ will put these up so you students don’t have to ask permission for a pass?” so that the teacher usually takes the cue to put it in a common place on the wall, board, etc.
  3. I tell students that they can fill out a pass and then give it to their teacher to put in my box (I tell them they are allowed to tape it shut or staple it, but their teachers will respect their privacy). If it is an appropriate time (not in the middle of a test 🙂 ), their teacher might allow them to drop if off in the mailbox outside of my door.  appointment with counselor reminder
  4. Once I get their notes (I tell the students this is the procedure shpeel), I write them an appointment card (click here for a copy of the appointment cards) and I expect them to come to my office at that time (Grades 2-5). I go to get the kids in K and 1 at the schedule time I send appointment card for.  I also tell the teachers in my intro, that if I ever put an appointment card in their box for a time that doesn’t work… or if I accidentally put a time they are in lunch or specials (known to happen a time or two), they can just put the appointment card back in my box and I will reschedule.
  5. I also review in the counselor intro where my office is so that they can find it. I have a magic carpet in front of my office. I tell an outlandish story about that I can share if anyone is interested. This way when they are looking for my office they are sure to recognize where it is. And yes, I have kids come back to visit when they are older (yup…college age) and ask if I have the magic carpet. 🙂

Questions?? Drop me a note!

3 thoughts on “How do you handle individual referrals?”

  1. I want to hear about this magic carpet. Will be starting my first year as a counselor and am looking for fun ideas. Thank you

    1. Alright… so I tell the magic carpet story at the start of every year in K-5. Sometimes this is the main way kids remember me at first. I tell them that I was working late one night in my first year at this school and saw this carpet (that I had just bought at a store) hovering outside my door. I tell the kids (with much animated mystery) that they don’t have to believe me, but I think it keeps the school safe at night and then lands in front of my door so that kids know where my office is. Each year I let the kids who remember the story retell it in my intro lesson. It is engaging and also lets the new students know where to find me in a fun way. “Look for the magic carpet and you’ll know where you can find me, but don’t try to ride it.. or the news crew will be out here.” Note: if you buy a cute carpet for this purpose, buy 2 in case one get ruined you have a back up. I have had the same style one for 20 years. 🙂

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