Updated: Dec 11, 2020
Here you will find the fifth edition of the newsletter! Inside you will find yearly planning tips, ways to introduce yourself, how to host a virtual back-to-school night, small groups, lunch bunch and more!
A peek inside. Read a few of the articles below, or download the PDF to see the full newsletter!
With everything that is happening in schools, online, and everywhere in between, now is the time to really foster your relationships with students and families. Establish rapport, and let students know that you are here, and you have patience and you will support them through this.
Encourage your families to ask for help and be there with your listening ear, to hear their questions and concerns. One of the easiest ways to foster these relationships is to be available. I know, easier said than done right?! Try having open 'office hours' where students or parents can drop in to your Zoom room, to ask questions or say hi.
Be intentional about communications. For example, if you are sending email messages to check-in with students, try to give specific options for students to respond. Rather than saying, "let me know if you need anything,' you can say, 'send me an emoji to represent how you feel today.
Planning is our friend
Planning is either our best friend or our worst enemy. Sometimes we can plan and plan our hearts out to the smallest detail, and nothing goes right, where other times we barely plan and things go off without a hitch!
Whether you are a master planner, or you like to wing it, having an idea of what's to come is definitely beneficial. Take some time to sit down and think about your counseling program and your school and what important events will be coming up in the next months.
Get a blank yearly calendar and start filling in what you know needs to be done in that time. See below for a sample (which you can use if it works for you).
Group counseling is an important
part of direct services for School Counseling. The fact that we are online should not keep us from fulfilling this need. The way we go about group counseling, virtually, is very similar to how we would conduct these groups in person.
Here are steps to take to get started:
Needs assessment (to see what types of groups are needed)
Plan dates and find materials for group (6 weeks max)
Identify potential group members
Call/meet with students to gage interest
Send grown-ups consent forms/permission slips with group information
First group meeting-establish rules and explain confidentiality
Learn to rest, not to quit
You got this!
Some days you just need to step away from the computer and regroup. Notice when you start to feel overwhelm and get ahead of it!
Go outside, get some air.
Find times in the day to take a break and refocus.
A 5-minute cuddle session with your pet may just be what you needed to help get you through the rest of the day.
Working from home, it can be tricky to balance what is work and what is home. Set those boundaries and stick to them! If your hours of operation are M-F, 8-4 stick with them!
Of course there will be situations that keep you from sticking to these perfectly, but for the most part, you will be doing yourself and others a disservice by not sticking true to your boundaries.