Here is the latest edition of our newsletter with Teacher Appreciation Week ideas, boundary setting, time tracking, and more!
A peek inside. Read a few of the articles below, or download the PDF to see the full newsletter!
I Don't Know
Here’s the deal, it is okay to not know, and to admit that you don't know, but it can become detrimental if we leave it at that. Instead of saying ‘I don't know’ and leaving it there, you can say, “I’m not sure, but here’s what I think”
Being School Counselors, your job revolves around communicating and helping others, mostly by talking with them, one the most frustrating phrases to hear from students is:
“I don't know.”
We can follow up with, “well what do you think” or “take a guess” Oh my, the responses that this can provoke! Now from the side of the counselor, if you respond to a question with, 'I don't know," this could cut the entire conversation off, leaving the other person hanging. I am not saying to lie, and pretend that you know EVERYTHING. Admit that you aren't sure of the answer, but be confident that you have a lot to give and that you will figure it out!
Maybe we don’t need to eliminate the phrase, 'I don't know' completely, but we we can most definitely add to it.
Similar to a 'yet' statement, we are going to create a 'but' statement.
In order for our mindset to shift in a positive and hopeful way, we have got to add a ‘but’ statement to the end of the phrase “I don’t know.”
"I don't know, but..."
Not only will adding this little word keep you feeling confident and sure of yourself, it will also keep you engaged in communication and ultimately fostering your relationships with others.
Sometimes encouraging others to think critically and work to find solutions comes from leading by examples and showing that it's okay not to know, but it's not okay not to try!
Plus, we're counselors, we drink coffee, and we know things!
All Hands on Deck
School Counselor's roles are defined. We learn what they are in school. Right? ASCA gives us guidelines and models for how to be. Jump to reality. Our jobs, and roles are different depending on the school, the grade level, the year, the week, even sometimes the day! So how do we manage the 'all hands on deck' approach that so many School Counselors are met with. Boundaries. Be clear with your boundaries. Easier said than done right?! First, sit down and work through what those boundaries are for you and why. Are there creative ways to utilize tasks that may seem, not counseling related, to actually related to counseling? Of course there are going to be some things that you will help out with because you want to, or can, but these should not be so frequent that you are not doing your actual job.
Careers and Future Planning
Careers and future planning can look very different for School Counselors depending on where their students are developmentally. Some students are set and very clear on their dream job and how to get there, while others will very clearly state that they do not dream of labor, therefore, they have no dream job. Then there are those students who will fall everywhere in between.
Whether you are working with Kindergarteners or Seniors, careers and future planning are key topics to help your students expand their thinking.
Exposure to many different opportunities or interests that students may have is crucial. They need to see beyond the Youtubers and influencers and find what truly sparks joy for them.
One thing to start with if you're not sure when it comes to careers and future planning is to help students to find what sets their hearts on fire! Maybe that will then lead to them finding a career that was meant for them, or finding the career that they were meant to create!
When you find the tools that work for you to help you to refresh, you will be better able to manage the times when you feel like quitting. You are doing hard things. Some things may get harder, while others will get easier, just keep going. Forward is forward, no matter how slow!
Download the PDF to read more from this VSC Newsletter!