August 28, 2016

Quick School Counselor Intro - Superpowers

“Good morning! How is everyone doing today?!”


“Awesome! My name is Mrs. Bell. I know a lot of you have seen me around campus before, but who knows what I do? What is my job here?”

“You hold the doors open in the morning!”
“You’re right, that is part of my job but that’s not my whole job. Who else has a guess?”

“You help at recess."
"You help keeps who get in trouble." 
"You help at the buses." 
"You help kids with their feelings.”

Then finally someone guesses it, “You’re the School Counselor!”
“That’s right! I am the School Counselor! Today I am here to tell you about my job as the School Counselor. I’m going to tell you a little bit about what I do and how I can help you. But first, who can tell me what a superpower is?”

Their eyes get wide with excitement as their faces light up and their hands shoot into the air waving frantically. I usually receive a wide variety of answers.   

“A superpower is something that is inside of you that makes you great.”
“A superpower is a special ability.”
“It’s something that you can do that helps you save the town.”
“It’s something awesome like laser beams for eyes or the ability to have super strength.”

It is really fun listening to all the wild ideas that are floating around in their minds.

“Everyone is correct! There are two types of superpowers. One, is the type that your friend told us about. It is the type that we see in the movies! The ability to become invisible or to fly around and scoop people up out of danger, those are the types of powers we see on the big screen. We see those in movies, but we cannot really do those in real life. The second type of superpowers are the kinds that each and every one of you have, the abilities that make each of us super and special.”

Gasps fill the room as students look around in excitement.

“That’s right, I bet some of you didn’t know that you have superpowers! Each and every one of us has a superpower. A superpower is a skill or ability that will one day make you good at your future job. As the School Counselor, I have five superpowers that make me good at my job. Can I tell you about them?”

They excitedly agree and I display my superpowers one at a time on the overhead projector.

“My first superpower is that I help you solve your problems and deal with life changes. I won’t solve your problems for you, but we can work together to come up with solutions. I can also help you deal with any life changes that are worrying or bothering you. Who can tell me what a life change is?”

“A life change is anything that happens that changes your life.”

“That’s correct. Who can give me an example?”

Be prepared for some of the answers to surprise you.

“My best friend moved and now I have to make new friends.”
Before I could respond a little girl yelled out, “I’ll be your friend! You’re really good at tag!”

A boy raised his hand and said, “My grandpa died and then my dad got sick.” The little girl next to him leaned in for a hug and said, “It’ll be okay.”

“My dad is in jail and that changed my life.”
“I’m very sorry you are dealing with that, if you want to talk about that some more let me know, I’d love to speak with you.”

“My parents are getting divorced and I have to decide who to live with.”
“I’m sorry your family is going through that. If you need help talking that through, let me know.”

I then went on to say, “If anyone is dealing with something that changed their life, the counselors are here to help you understand and deal with your emotions. We can’t change it or solve it, but we can help you cope with it. If you understand my first superpower give me a thumbs up.”

“Alright, my second superpower is, I help remind you how special you are. I help you to figure out what your superpowers are. Everyone has a superpower, sometimes you just need help to figure out what it is. You need someone to remind you how special and super you are. That’s what I’m here for. If you don’t know what your superpower is, I can help you with that. That leads to my third superpower, I help you with career options. Once we figure out what your superpower is, what you’re good at, we can figure out what type of career you may want in the future. I know careers and jobs seem like they are really far away, but you have start thinking about what you are good at, what your powers are, and how they may lead to a job in the future. You can be anything in this world that you want to be, as long as you are willing to work hard to make it happen. The first step is figuring out what you might want to be. I can help you with that. Does everyone understand my second and third superpower? Give me a thumbs up if you are ready for power number 4.”

Most of the time I look out into a sea of thumbs up and move onto power four.

“I can help you make and keep friends. Sometimes, you guys don’t quite know how to talk to each other, or you don’t quite know how to ask someone to be your friend. I can help with that. If you do not feel like you have friends or you feel like you would like to learn the skills to make a new one, let me know. I can help you.”

A cluster of thumbs up appear before I can even ask. 

“My final superpower is that I listen to your problems and concerns. Sometimes you just need someone to talk to. Someone who will listen without judging and who will keep your secrets safe. I am an expert secret keeper. I won’t tell anyone what you tell me, unless you want me to. I won’t tell your teacher or your friends, what you say to me stays with me. There is one exception though. If you tell me someone is hurting you, or that you are hurting someone else, or I feel like you are in a dangerous situation, I might have to get some extra help to make sure you are safe. Other than that, what you say to me stays with me. Thumbs up if you understand. Awesome! Does anyone have any questions for me?”

I answer all questions and then pass out their activity.

“Right now, I am passing out a superhero kablamey thingy to each of you.”

My high tech term for these. 

“What I want you to do is take a minute to think about your superpowers. What makes you special? What makes you, you? Are you helpful in the classroom? Do you smile at people and make their day? Do you help little ones find their classroom? Are you great at reading? Math? Science? Do you help out around your house? Do you cook? Help clean? Are you great at sports? Do you take good care of pets? Of your siblings? What are you good at? What superpowers do you have that might get you a job one day? I have five superpowers that make me good at my job. You can have one, three or even seven. You can have as many superpowers as you like. There is no wrong answers, unless you tell me that you don’t have a superpower, everyone has one. Think for a few minutes and if you cannot come up with anything let me know and I will help you. Once you figure out what your superpowers and skills are, write them in the middle of this kablam. Decorate it however you like!”

Some kids know exactly what they are good at and start ferociously writing. Others need a bit of encouragement.

For those that need a push, I like to start by asking, “What do you like to do when you get home?” If they say something like “sleep”, I gently say, “Sleeping is fun, but that may not get you the best job one day.” I work with them until we come up with something and then encourage their suggestions. “I like to take care of my pets.” “That’s wonderful, maybe you will become a vet one day!’

I also ask, “What do you like to do at school or in your classroom?”

“Help my teacher or kids that don’t understand.”
“That’s fantastic! Maybe one day you’ll be a teacher too!”

I try to always push the ideas back to careers, it’s great to be good at something. It’s even better if you can one day be paid for what you are good at.

Once everyone is finishing, I like to ask for volunteers to share. Again, after they share their powers, I ask everyone what type of job someone with those powers and skill sets may want to have in the future. It is so fun watching the ideas spin around their heads.

Using Google Translate, we were able to get the new student from Germany to participate
Her superpower is helping her mom cook tomato sauce

In the end, I tell them how they can find me and I collect the kablams of those that want to give them to me. I display them on a bulletin board for the world to see.

When you inspire a kid and make them realize they are good at something, their mindset and how hard they are willing to work are their only limits.

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