5 Things School Counselors Can Do To Start the Year

You know the panic you feel when you can’t remember where you parked your car. You just stand there looking around frozen,  annoyed,  embarrassed,  THINKING… “Grrreeaat (or another expletive)….What do I do now?”. I love this metaphor that I recently heard by keynote speaker Sean Smith (#VOV2018) in Kentucky. While he used the metaphor for a different type of panic … it reminded me of how we often feel at the start of the year.
Does this sound familiar? You get to your desk and you are frozen with a panic of what to do next. This blog post can be your panic button. You can click it, and read hear to refer back to…. if that feeling has sets in. (And if you aren’t stressed, this will still be a good springboard for your first days back).

These things are actionable. Usually once you are DOING SOMETHING… the brain gets warmed up and the next things to do usually become more clear while you are busy. Let’s get those neurons moving around.

  1. Put important dates on your calendar. Use your master calendar to put school-wide activities, testing, holidays, etc. onto your work calendar. Also, mark down days you know you will be out for personal time and district meetings.
  2. Introduce yourself to new staff. Go around to the new staff members in the first few days of pre-planning. They will appreciate it and it will help build your relationships and rapport that will pay dividends throughout the year.
  3. Plan a Counselor Open House: Pick a date in the second or third week of school to invite staff members to stop by to meet you (and if you have one… your counseling team). They can pick up important papers, sign up for lessons… and most importantly have a donut and coffee. If you feed them, they will come. See here for a broader description of an in-house Counselor Open House.
  4. Prep Intro Lesson: So many choices. Here are a few ideas to play with.
  5. Create a School Counseling Brochure : Click this link to see my School Counseling Brochure.  Contact me if you want an editable format. (For some reason it won’t let me attatch the Publisher document) . No need to invent the wheel right? Wishing everyone a wonderful start to the new year.


( Also, I love sharing this analogy below with staff to start the year. Copy paste and send to your staff!)

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