July 20, 2017

Whoooo's the School Counselor (kinder and first)

At the elementary age, it is especially important for School Counselors to introduce ourselves to all students. They need to know from kindergarten forward, who we are and how I we can help them. If we let kids know from an early age that we are here for them, they are much more likely to seek us out when they are older or have an issue.

To lay the foundation of my counseling program, I start with counselor introductions the second week of school. I try to get into every class and let them know who I am and what I do. I start with kindergarten and first grade, there is a high chance that the majority of these students will not know who I am or what a School Counselor does. I like to spend a lot of time there and answer any and all questions. I then move to second-fifth grade and visit classes as everyone schedule allows. By the end of august (our first month of school), I make it my goal to have visited every class at least once.

Kindergarten is always the most fun. I start by telling them my name and that I am the School Counselor. I then ask what they think a School Counselor does. Many of them have not been to school before and have some very creative answers to this question. My favorite being, “why don’t you cancel school more often?” it took me a minute to realize she thought I was the school canceller.

After I talk about myself for a little bit, I ask what other type of people work at school? They list many different positions. “As you can see, there are a lot of different people that work here at school that can help you when need help. We are going to talk about those people today.”

I then pass out the career cubes. 

I give one cube per group of 2-4 people. I let them take turns rolling the cube and then giving an example of something that the person they landed on could help them with. For example, if someone landed on librarian, the example they could give would be,” the librarian could help me pick out books.”  The next person would then take their turn.

After they have time to discuss the jobs on the cubes (bus driver, librarian, school counselor, teacher, coach, resource officer, parents, school nurse, custodian, or principal) I direct their attention back up to the front. I display the posters use them to help me explain my specific roles and responsibilities as the School Counselor. 

I like to take a lot of time on this part to make sure they fully understand my role and have all of their questions answered. 

After that, I move into the “Who Would You Go To?” sliders game. I make the game ahead of time to prepare for the lesson. I print, laminate and cut apart all of the cards and sliders templates. This way, they are ready to go and are durable enough for kindergarten fingers.

I pick out which cards I want to use (some are too hard/too easy for kinder) and place them all upside down in a pile on the table. I then pick up one card at a time, read it out loud and have students answer the question using their slider. It is seriously so much fun.

When we are done, I have them complete one of the activity sheets as I walk around mingling with the kids. I like to check and see if I can identify any students who I should be working with more closely.

Once I finish my rounds in kinder and first, I move onto second through fifth grade where I introduce my School Counselor Superpowers. 

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