Sunday, January 31, 2016

Is This Love? Or An Unhealthy Relationship

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Each February, my peer helpers observe dating violence awareness month with a peer education campaign. In two weeks, our students will be at it again working the lunchroom, going into the classrooms, and collecting data regarding regarding relationships.   It truly surprises me how many of our students are unaware of the differences between a healthy and unhealthy relationship (we typically find out this information through the surveys we distribute that week).  However, the other day I had an epiphany that identifying unhealthy relationships can be difficult even for adults.  Case in point...
Saturday morning blues...

During my weekly house cleaning ritual, I often turn on VH1 Classics and sometimes I will even stop to watch a video.  One particular Saturday, my favorite band was on so I immediately stopped what I was doing and listened.  As I was watched video (for the hundredth time), I was surprised to see there was a violent undertone to the story line (this totally caught me off guard).

Here is the scenario...

This doesn't look like love in this video.
Following the physical altercation, the scene changes to show the two of them making out on the hood of his car.  So, I say to my kids, who are watching the video with me at this point, "I wonder what happened to cause her to want to leave? Looks like they had a unhealthy relationship".  My kids jerked their heads around and just looked at me like I had a third eye.  "Mom, do you have to analyze everything?  It's just a video!"  Just a video, I thought!  Watching videos on MTV was how I learned about life.  The sad news is that many of our youth and/or young adults learn about relationships watching others.  Also, it is unfortunate that all the years I had been watching this video that I had never noticed their unhealthy relationship...hmmm.

While it is easy for adults to miss unhealthy relationships in every day life, teens have a particularly difficult time. Reflecting back to my youth, I wonder how many times this was true for me when I was in high school. Thinking back, I remember that one particular girl...

In 9th grade, one of our classmates was dating an older classmate and he was H-O-T! In addition to his hotness, he was the star quarterback, he was tremendously well put together, and he was a senior! Many of us were jealous of the idea that this plain girl was able to snag the star quarterback; therefore, she never really talked about their relationship and would often go to great lengths to avoid the subject. Although the idea of dating the star football player was romantic, we noticed that our classmate appearance and behavior changed significantly over time.  For instance, she stopped wearing makeup, she rarely went out with her friends, and she was sad all the time. Unfortunately, it was not until I was older that I found out about the torture this girl experienced from this guy.  Even though I witnessed some of this treatment firsthand, I never realized it was abuse.  Here are some of the signs I actually witnessed:
  • She walked behind him.
  • She would hold her head down while they were in public so that he would not accuse her of looking at other guys.
  • She stopped wear makeup or fixing her hair.
  • She was not allowed to talk to others while they were together.
  • She had to be home at a certain time to receive his phone calls.
  • He would pinch her in public if she made him mad.   
Abuse is not always physical
The sad part about it all is that no one said anything, not even her parents.  Oh, by the way, her dad was a cop. 

Unfortunately, it was not until I was older that I realized these were actually signs of a unhealthy relationship. When I finally discovered that I was clueless about identifying the signals,  I knew that I needed to learn more! Therefore, I made a conscious decision to educate myself and become aware of the signs of a relationship abuse (this has served me well as a school counselor).  My awareness has even changed the way I view the world and has enhanced my desire to educate others.

Since next month is Dating Violence Awareness month, it is a great opportunity for school counselors to educate students, parents, and staff members.  It is truly important to help our students understand the differences between a healthy and unhealthy relationship. If you need some help in your Dating Violence Awareness month activities, feel free to check out these resources below.

Informational Resources:


Stop Slut Shaming and Sexually Bullying
Teen Dating Violence

My Past Blog  Posts on Dating Violence and Unhealthy Relationships

A Shade of Grey Should Never Hurt
The High School Counselor's Response to Sexual Bullying and Rape

Dating Violence Awareness

Think about getting your students involved in a Dating Violence Awareness campaign.

How to Get Your Students Involved

Dating Violence Awareness Kit
Safety Planning
That's Not Cool Ambassador
Healthy Relationships Lesson Plans

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Hot New Project for Peer Mediation!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

mediation enhanced my profession
Okay, I realized the other day that I have been in education a long time (sigh). During my career, I have been able to add on some additional skills that have worked to my advantage and some that were poor choices.  So, let's talk about a positive!  One positive skill, in addition to my licensure in counseling, includes my certification
as a mediator in my home state.  Recently, my mediation skills have allowed me to meet some pretty awesome people in the conflict resolution field and participate in a really cool new project. In this post, I want to share an opportunity for your school to get involved;  however, if you are not interested, please let others know about this project.

What is the Online Peer Mediation Platform?

I am so excited to be a part of a new project sponsored by JAMS, the Association for Conflict Resolution, and the National Association of Peer Program Professionals.  In 2014, the Association of Conflict Resolution received a two year grant to create and sustain an online peer mediation platform for schools and students.  In addition to the website, project leaders will provide the following services to schools:

1.  Assist students in practicing their mediation skills with qualified mentors.
2.  Train students to become mediators.
3.  Provide mediation services for schools that lack a mediation program.
4.  Maintain a resource clearinghouse of resources and training materials.

So, let's review each section of the project so that you gain a little knowledge about the platform.

Online Simulations

If you have a peer mediation program and would like to be involved in simulations and practice, OPMP is looking for 10 schools to participate.  Here is an example of the quality and feedback your students will receive (by the way, these are my babies!).

See more at the OPMP Website!

Training Students in Peer Mediation

Currently in development, the OPMP team is creating an online peer mediation training program for schools.  This soon-to-be released component of the website will be available to any school that desires a peer mediation program without the travel and high expense (yes!).

Peer Mediation Services

One of the most innovative parts of the Online Peer Mediation Platform is the ability to provide mediation services to students who want to go to mediation.  Although not operational as of date, this component will provide conflict resolution services to students, either at school or at home, without interrupting the school (a common complaint from teachers).


Another awesome component of the website will be the extensive catalog of resources in conflict resolution education.  Currently, there are several informational sources available and this list continues to grow! 

Who are the Team Members?

Who are the experts behind this project?  Here we are...

Dr. Judith Tindall, President of the National Association of Peer Program Professionals

Giuseppe Leone, Founder Virtual Mediation Labs

Jay Edwards, Web Consultant ReelFire Productions

Karen DeVoogd, Director of Mediator Mentors, California State University Fresno

Kristen Woodward, Conflict Resolution Specialist, Fairfax County Schools, VA

Cynthia Morton, Former Chair, Education, Research, and Training Section of the Association for Conflict Resolution

Well, are you interested in learning more?  All you have to do is contact our team and we will reach out to you!

Contact Form

You can also follow the OPMP Facebook page for the latest updates!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

How to Handle Untrue Accusations as a School Counselor

Saturday, January 16, 2016

It is like a scene out of a low budget horror movie.  The phone rings and it is one of my colleagues from my old school.  "I need to tell you something and you are not going to like it."  (Don't you hate when conversations start this way!!  So, I stopped what I was doing and listened intently).  "Earlier today, one of your former parents came in and accused you of saying something that I know you would never say".  After a minute of silence, I immediately lost my cool and started trying to defend myself.  Okay, okay I thought...get it together!  After calming myself, I told my colleague that I was sorry and I appreciated her confidence in me (even though I was highly ticked off!).  However,  she wasn't finished with the news.  "Oh, by the way, the parent wants a meeting with you and the principal to explain yourself and what you are going to do about this situation". 

My response about a meeting with a parent!
After our conversation, I was really fuming.  In the past, I had always had a great relationship with this parent and felt that I treated her fairly and even went out of my way to make her feel informed.  Now, this same parent was accusing me of saying something that I knew I would never say to another human being and was even  requesting that I make good on a situation that I was clueless about!!!  Has this ever happened to you?  The typical..."The school counselor said".  Ugghhh!  

 Avoiding Barriers in Unpleasant Meetings With Parents

One of my purposes for writing this blog post is to give school counselors some ideas of how to avoid unpleasant barriers when meeting with an unpleasant parent, student, or staff member. Although I haven't met with this parent yet (oy), it is going to happen. Often when we face a difficult or unexpected meeting, we tend to avoid the situation (this can be a major mistake), lose our voice in fear (this can be due to our beliefs that we will not be supported or we just feel unsure of ourselves), or become defensive (never a good idea).   So, I have to create a strategy when I face this parent and one of those three choices is not one of the best options for me.  Okay, so what do I do?  Another question is what do you do when you face adversity as the school counselor?  In this post, I hope to provide some strategies for you to think about when and if this happens to you.

Honestly, I have been thinking about this meeting for two weeks.  Once I heard about it, I emailed the parent and told her that I would be glad to meet with her (take that avoidance...ha ha!).  Next, I sent a copy of the email to the principal so she was aware of the situation and was not caught off guard.  Fortunately, the principal knows the accusation I am facing and told my colleague she does not believe that I would say that...yes, I feel supported!  Now, I must have a strategy so I do not go into defensive mood.  Finally, the answer came to me from Google!  As I am reading my Google feed, I found a great article from a group of conflict specialists who deal with conflict in the workplace (I believe their advice is worth considering in my scenario). 

Bruna Martinuzzi wrote an article about facing unpleasant conflicts in the workplace and has some great advice for handling these types of situations.  Here are some of her tips:

When starting a meeting, make sure all parties are clear about the issue.  Martinuzzi says that you should be able to articulate the issue in two or three succinct sentences without going off into a tangent. 

Next, you should know your objective in this situation is not take responsibility for the parent's misunderstanding of what she thought she heard me say three years ago about her son's athletic eligibility. 

Really important, but super hard to do...listen!  Okay, this is a hard one when we feel that we have been mistreated, but this is really important.

Also, know how to start the conversation by using problem solving phrases.  Barry Moltz in his article, 10 Phrases That Can Solve Any Workplace Problem, gives some great one liners to use when facing conflict and misunderstandings.  I found three phrases that may be helpful as I go into this meeting. 

Three Helpful Phrases

1.  "I didn't realize this was going on, so tell me more."  This phrase will force me to be quiet and listen before providing additional information to the parent.

2.  "I want to listen to your point of view, but I can't when you are yelling."  This sets ground rules for respectful conversation at the beginning of the dialogue in the event the parent goes in for the kill!

3.  "I understand your point of view, but I see it differently." After listening to the other party, it is important to show that I have heard her concerns; however, it is important to set my boundaries.  Showing that I disagree and I am confident is going to be powerful.

In addition to these tips from the business industry, school counseling educators have some great advice for me to follow as well. 

Show the Spirit of Empathy and Collaboration!

Another great tip when meeting with defensive parents is to operate in empathy rather than knowledge.  If I go into this meeting saying something like, "Ma'am, you know I would never say anything as ridiculous as what  you are accusing me of saying regarding your son", um, that is not going to go so well with this parent. In an article by John Somers-Flanagan, he writes that parents,
unlike any other group, are "simultaneously defensive and vulnerable". Somers-Flanagan believes that if we, school counselors, approach a conversation like an expert then parents are more than likely to attack instead of respecting our professional opinion.  Somers-Flanagan also suggests that school counselors should employ a spirit of collaboration when working with parents. This collaboration involves the school counselor recognizing the parent as the expert so we don't risk the impulse to overemphasize our role! 

Although I am nervous about this meeting, I feel more prepared having reflected on these strategies.  I hope this goes well, but if not, I have tried my best to prepare for this meeting and I will stay professional (this is really important!).  At this point, this is all the advice I have for this post, but if you want to know more about working with difficult parents or situations, check out these other resources.

Rethinking Difficult Parents
Dealing With Angry Parents
Working With Difficult Parents
Resources for Dealing With Difficult Parents and Students

Also, please check out my other posts on dealing with angry parents.  Can you tell I have a bit of experience?

A Tutorial on Responding to High Conflict Parents

Graduation Hell Week: Dealing With Angry Parents

Responding to Nasty Emails

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

National Peer Helping Week Celebration!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016
One of my passions as a school counselor is to train students to help their peers.  In fact, I feel that all educators should promote peer helping (well, a girl can dream can't she)!  Whether you are currently involved in a peer helper program, support a program in your school, or have been thinking about a program, this post is for you!  
Here's an idea if you have a program!

Have a Program and Need Ideas?

The National Association of Peer Program Professionals is sponsoring its 2nd annual peer helping recognition week during the month of March.  During this week, you can promote the work of your program to students and staff members. To help with your week's activities, NAPPP has created a kit that you can download on their website.  

Here are some of the items included in the kit: 
  • Sample proclamation
  • National Peer Helper Week logo
  • Sample media posts
  • Suggested activities including: create/wear a peer helper t-shirt, develop a video about your program, hold a ceremony, throw a party, or host special event
  • Sample ceremony script
After your event, NAPPP asks that schools post their pictures to their face book page to show your spirit!!

Need some more ideas? 

Here are a few ideas from my friends at the Jennifer Claire Moore Foundation.

Create and Share a Video About Peer Helping

"I Am Me" - Bullying Awareness Video from Bay Minette Middle School in Bay Minette, AL.

Hold an Event 

Create your own peer helping event like the one that the Jennifer Clair Moore Foundation sponsored last year.  This event was called the Peer Helper Jubliee and over 1000 students met at a local theater to talk about learn how to identify bullying.
I have provided instructions for creating your own event!  Jubilee Guidebook

Don't Have a Clue About How to Set Up a Program?  Attend a Training!
If are clueless on how to start a program, consider attending a peer helping training.  I did this many years ago and it help tremendously!  Check out these conferences in 2016.

East Coast

6th National Peer Helping Conference
Feb. 3rd-5th, 2016
Point Clear, AL
Grand Marriott

West Coast

Peer Resource Training
San Francisco, CA 
Next training is in August.

Central US

PAL-Peer Assisted Leadership, TEXAS
Dates varies...check website.

NAPPP Summer Institute, Indianapolis
Summer, 2016

Live outside the worries!

Peer Skills, AUSTRALIA

Peer Resources, CANADA

Can't get to one of these training institutes? Check out other helpful training resources.

Other Helpful Resources When You Want to Start a Program:

ADL-Anti-Defamation League
Peer Program Professionals Website 
Peer Resources  (For our Canadian Friends)
My Peer Toolkit (For our Australian Friends)
Cool Schools (For our New Zealand Friends)
Peer Program Professionals Facebook Page 
Peer Helper Resources (Livebinder)
Peer Program Network Facebook Page
Jennifer Claire Moore Foundation Peer Programs
Peer Resource Training
Training Peer Helpers (Search Institute)
Canadian Student Leadership Association
Natural Helpers
Safe, Healthy Schools
Roseville High School Peer Helper Program
Peer Helping Resources for Colleges
Peer Resource Network
Students Helping Students
Tapping the Power of Peer Helping, B. Varenhorst
K-12 Peer Helping, Julie Champion
Peer Net British Columbia
Teacher Tube Videos 

You can also reach out to me if you need assistance!  I am always willing to help and will come to your school/district for training.  

Please share this information with others if you are willing!  Oh, I would love to hear your ideas!! 

Monday, January 11, 2016

66 Top Counseling Resources: 2016 Edition

Monday, January 11, 2016

It is a dreary January evening and I am stuck on the couch with a bug that I believe I caught from one of the teachers who ventured in my office at the beginning of the week.  The worst part is that I have a cough that will not let me sleep...urgghhh!  Since I can't sleep, I decided to jump on the computer
and work on a post.  

This is me!
Since it is a new year, I am always eager to find the latest resources, blogs. social media, and other types of information that will be beneficial in my practice.  So, I decided to share my latest list of top resources for my high school counseling colleagues. 

 If you have any additional sites, please feel free to share them with me and I will post them to my list.   

Admitted-Authored by the college experts at the National Association of College and Admissions, this blog has great college information and advice for school counselors.

Adolescent Counseling Services-Blog featuring teen counseling topics from this Chicago agency.  Great information for school counselors.

Amber Shepherd-Thompson-High school counselor from Florida who provides student, parent, and professional resources for school counselors.

American Counseling Association-Resource for members and non-members on counseling trends. 

ASCA School Counselor Blog-Great information from experts in school counseling...need I say more?

California Association for School Counselors-Informative blog by the California School Counselors.

College Choice-Great resource for school counselors that includes college rankings, paying for college, college scholarships, becoming a successful applicant, and lots more.  Check out this link on creating a great college application, Anatomy of a College Application.

College Connection-Website of resources maintained by the College Board.

College Express-Admissions and college advice from college admission experts, school counselors,  and industry pros.

College Prep Results-Former Houston School Counselor who now runs a website to assist school counselors on academic, college, and career counseling.

College Raptor-Great information for school counselors when working with students on college admissions and preparation.

Counselor's Corner-High School counselor Patrick O'Connor's blog contains great information for high school counselors and high school students.

Counselor's Room-Founded in 2009, the Counselor's Room provides free lesson plans, activities, and worksheets for school counselors from elementary to high school. 

Counseling With Callie-Check out her website for fresh ideas from setting up a career day to creating a twitter door.  Great for school counselor of all levels!

Darrell Sampson-The Counselor's Office-Northern Virginia school counselor with lots of links and even a crisis resource page.

Dignity in Schools-Blog that shares information on school pushout, school discipline, and positive alternatives for student behavior. 

Edutopia-Great blog with lots of information about every possible subject in education (including school counseling).

Elevating Oklahoma Guidance and Counseling -Great website with assessment information, career planning, counseling resources, videos, and teachers as advisers guidance.

Expert's Corner- Looking for helpful insight on increasing student success on the SAT?  Check out this informative site! 

Florida School Counseling Blog-The Florida School Counseling Association has a wonderful blog of resources for school counselors in Florida and other states!

Francine Sabens-School Counselor Space-Illinois High School Counselor of the Year who has a lot of great resources for professional school counselors!

High School Counselors' Network-Face Book page created and managed by middle school counselor, Carol Miller of New York.  A great place for high school counselors to network, share ideas, and ask questions.

High School Counselor Week-High school blog featuring weekly stories, facts, trends and other information for school counselors in each region of the US.  School counselors are able to sign up for a weekly newsletter from his or her region of the US.

 Huntsville City Schools Counselor Connection -Facebook page that supports the growth and development of Huntsville City Schools counselors, but an excellent resource for all school counselors!

I'll Go to College -Written by a former non profit co-director who assisted first gen students with college guidance, this blog has a lot of useful links and information that can be used by school counselors.

International Association for College Admissions Counseling-Great blog for international counselors!

Jeremy Goldman-Pikesville High School Counseling Blog-High school blog with great resources for professional development in the areas of advisement, personal-social, academics, careers, and paying for college.

JLV College Counseling-Great source for scholarship and college resources.

Julia V Taylor-Julia has a great website with tons of great resources for school counselors.

Kaarl Liedtka-This site contains lesson plans, career information, student portfolios, and lots of resources for school counselors.

Link for Counselors-Articles for high school counselors on a variety of high school subjects.

Lisa's Links for Counselors-This site includes resources for all counselors including videos, blogs, websites, Pinterest pages, and lots more.

Livebinder Folders

Magoosh-High School blog written by a bunch of self proclaimed nerds whose goal is to help students reach their post secondary dreams.  This blog includes lots of information regarding standardized testing, study habits, how to write a personal statement, applying to college, early admission, class advice, and much more!!

Manitoba School Counseling-Check out our neighbors to the North!  They have a great deal of resources for school counselors in many areas!

Missouri Center for Career Education-This site contains loads of information for school counselors whether you live in Missouri or Alaska.  

National Center for Youth Issues -Resource blog with helpful tips and information for school counselors at all levels. 

Naomi Drew-Author who writes a resource blog for school counselors on conflict, bullying, and character education.

Naviance College and Career Readiness Blog-Although my school doesn't use Naviance, I have gathered a lot of great ideas and information from this site.  Worth the look!

North Tahoe High School Blog-Although this blog is for the North Tahoe High School community,  it has a lot of great information you can steal, um I mean borrow,  to share with your school community. 

Ohio School Counselor Blog-Great informative blog written by the Ohio School Counseling Association.
One School Counselor  -High School website from Orange County, California with great information for school counselors, students, and parents. Check out the school counselor information page!

Psych Central-Expert advice, resources, and information for mental health professionals. 

Remind Blog-Remind is a popular tool with so many possibilities. Check out all the ways to use Remind your counseling office.

Ross Wolfson School Counselor Crowd Blog-High school counselor from Boston who hosts a website that has turned into a world wide community of school counseling professionals who share ideas, questions, and concerns.

School Counselor Advocacy Effect Blog-Hosted by the Iowa School Counselor Association, this blog was designed to inspire school counselors to advocate for their profession. 

School Counselor Blog-The original school counselor blog created by middle school counselor and doctoral student, Danielle Schultz. Danielle features a page called "School Counselor Spotlight" which has great ideas, resources, stories, and information for school counselors at all levels!

School Counselor Central - Blog managed by Dean Pacchiana and Dr. Deborah Hardy which posts weekly ideas as lessons and activities.  In addition to the blog, SCC has a Facebook and Pinterest page!!
School Counselor Crowd Blog -Blog created by  Canadian School Counselor Susan Spellman Cann with lots of great resources. Susan loves to share with all school counselors!!

School Counselor Digital Digest-Website created and maintained by Texas School Counseling Specialist, Victoria Bustos. 

School Counselors with a Twist Network-Face Book page created and managed by high school counselor, Amanda Foege. The network is for high school counselors who work in non-traditional settings to share ideas, resources, and network with other counselors.

SCOPE Blogroll-The mother of all school counselor blog lists created by school counseling educator Erin Mason.  Oh, make sure you check out Dr. Mason's site for technology tools! 

Susan Spellman Cann-School Counsellor Talk-Canadian school counselor and psychologist who hosts a variety of chats (#ETMOOC &  #SCCrowd) and provides a lot of digital resources for professional school counselors.

The College Solution -Although this blog is not written by a high school counselor or educator, it is definitely worth your time to look at this site by Lynn O’Shaughnessy.  She is a former news reporter who writes about "all things college" from financial aid, party schools, standardized testing, and much more!

The Counseling Geek-Outstanding website created by California high school counselor and technology guru, Jeff Ream. The goal of the website is to help school counselors with their technology needs.  In addition to helping counselors with their technology needs, Jeff has set up the ASCA Scholarship fund.  

The Extraordinary School Counselor-Blog written by the former 2012 Virginia School Counselor Educator of the Year and school counselor educator. The blog features college and career readiness resources, bullying prevention resources, STEM resources, and many more great ideas!

The Freshmen Network - Join this group of educators looking to help transition into the 9th grade.

The Middle School Counselor-Inspiring blog written by the New York School Counselor of the Year and former high school counselor, Carol Miller.  Although not a high school blog, Carol has a great blog with ideas that can be used with high school students.  In addition to her blog, Carol creates and sells school counseling t-shirts on her site (check them out!).

Traci R. Brown Blog-Traci first came on the scene as a school counseling intern blogging about her internship experience.   Now a school counselor, Traci has great ideas, information, and creative templates!

Washington State School Counseling Resources-Check out the lesson plans for grades 7-12.

West Virginia Department of Education School Counselor Resource Page-Great resource page for all school counselors including grade specific information and lesson plans.

Monday, January 4, 2016

December High School Counselor Chat: School Counselor Efficiency and Effectiveness for the New Year

Monday, January 4, 2016

If you missed last month's High School Counselor Chat (like I did...sigh), you can check out the transcript here compliments of Amber Shepherd.  In case this is your first time hearing about High School Chat, you can join the discussion every 2nd Monday of the month @ 8 pm EST.  Each month, the chat is either hosted by Amber, a high school counselor from St. Petersburg, Florida, or another fabulous school counselor!  Maybe you have a topic you would like to host?  If so, message Amber (+Amber Shepherd-Thompson) on Twitter! 

December topic was Efficiency and Effectiveness for a New Year. 

The next High School Counselor Chat (#HSCChat) will be January 11th hosted by Amber Shepherd and Nicole DiSilvestro .  Hope to see you there!!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Recipe for a Great National School Counselor Week!

Saturday, January 2, 2016
Here is my first post of the new year!  I am super excited to be able to share ideas with all my fellow high school counselors.  Although this next event does not occur until February, I intentionally decided to write about this subject early because it takes some planning to do it right.  So, let's dig in!!

It's that special time of year again...National School Counseling Week!  Our time to show the world who we are and what we contribute to our schools.  This year's theme is School Counseling: The Recipe For Success!  You have one month to prepare because this celebration occurs during the week of February 1-5, 2016.
Whether this is your first or your tenth time celebrating our  awesome profession, I want to share some ideas with you!  Now, what about those of you who have never considered or had the time to celebrate (probably because you are too busy with testing, RTI, or substituting...sigh)?  Please take a minute to read this article from Patrick O'Connor called Why You Should Celebrate School Counseling Week. I think it will help show you the importance of this celebration for our longevity!!
How to Celebrate!
 Celebrating National School Counselor's Week

Now, let's get started!!

First, we should show off our street cred.  ASCA offers this awesome school counselor t-shirt that counselors can order to wear during the week. 

Notice the word guidance is it!

Also, if you want to make an additional statement, you can find other t-shirt designs from the Middle School Counselor and Tee Spring for NSCW!!

Next, go to the ASCA site to find free printable forms, ideas, posters, and resources to use during the week. Here are some of the resources:

  1. Proclamation -have your superintendent or principal sign the school counseling week proclamation.
  2. Certificate of Appreciation-give out certificates to staff members who support your work as a school counselor.
  3. Sample Morning Announcements - educate staff and students about the work of the school counselor. Remember, we have to toot our horns from time to time.

In addition, think about buying some materials to advertise that National School Counselor Week is coming.  Some materials include posters, pencils, stickers, and door hangers. Remember, you can always make your own by using Vistaprint.

NSCW Posters from ASCA $5.00

Door Hangers-$5.00

I Love My School Counselor Stickers-$3.00

Download and order your materials here:

Now, if you are like me, you may need a little help coming up with creative ideas of how to celebrate this awesome week.  Here are some additional ideas for National School Counselor Week:
  • Create a flyer to share with your staff about school counseling.  Often, staff members ask "so what do you do all day?"  Put that mystery to rest! 
Here is an example of a flyer created from The School Counselor Kind blog.
What does a school counselor do?

  • Create a daily message about school counseling. Here are some examples by my friend, Carol Miller from the Middle School Counselor Blog.
  • Share and print out funny school counselor memes. Check out this post by Rebecca Atkins of funny memes.

Funny memes!!

  • Create thank you gifts for your staff.  This takes imagination and believe me, I need help with creativity. Therefore, I have included these cool water bottle templates for created by the awesome Danielle Schultz of the School Counselor Blog.
  • Say thank you with candy.  Some additional templates of how to create a cute candy thank you for staff members are available in this post from Confessions of a School Counselor !
Need more ideas?  See this list of ideas from Missouri School Counselor Association.

Oh, not enough ideas?  Here is another list from Texas School Counselor Association.

Finally, feel free to check out an older post from 2014 and my  Pinterest page on National School Counselor Week!

Now its your turn...please share your ideas for celebrating NSCW at your school!