When I started as an elementary school counselor, all I wanted was some sort of clue as to what the heck was going on. Seriously. I didn’t have a mentor or any materials or guidance from the previous counselor, so I had to learn everything the hard way. I observed a few classes and thenContinue reading “Elementary School Counseling Lesson Plan Standards Match”
Budgets are tight, but we still have a job to do. I’m going to give you the best school counseling must-haves-list for under $100. These are items that I have personally bought and find myself using again and again. The entire list of my favorite things is less than $100! And yes, I work withContinue reading “15 Must-Have School Counseling Items on a $100 Budget”
It’s possible that everyone already knows this and I’m just late to the party. But friends, did you know that you can share a YouTube link with students that’s free from ads and external clutter? It’s true! There are so many incredible clips available on YouTube. I regularly use videos to teach social cues andContinue reading “How Can You Protect Kids on Youtube?”
How Do I Become a School Counselor? Since I started working as a school counselor many years ago, my mother has told me countless times that her “school counselor didn’t do that.” And she’s not wrong; mine didn’t do “that” either. This job has changed a lot over the years. School counselors do a lotContinue reading “How To Become a School Counselor: 7 Things You Need to Know”
Let’s be clear, there is no magic bullet to teaching both in-person and online, but I do have some experience with this effort now and can give some feedback on what has and has not worked. Let’s start with the dumpster fires areas for improvement, and then we’ll move on to the good stuff. Let’sContinue reading “Advice for Teaching Online & In-Person”
I don’t recall ever being explicitly taught as a child that I could tell an adult “no” if I was uncomfortable with their touch. Chatting with a friend recently, she shared how she was tickled until it hurt, and her family all thought it was hysterically funny. Many of us have experienced tickles and hugsContinue reading “4 Personal Body Safety Books You Need to Add Your Shelf Today”
Have you ever walked into a school building and immediately felt welcomed and invited? How about the opposite? The schools’ culture permeates throughout the building, but it’s often nebulous; you can’t quite put your finger on it, but you feel it, and you usually know within minutes if it has good or bad vibes. WhatContinue reading “School Counseling Climate Survey”
I have gone through every type of calendar possible to schedule my meetings, and I have to tell you that I think I have finally found the needle in the proverbial haystack. I tried using google docs, sign up sheets, sign-in bar codes, calendar invites, and still spent an excessive amount of time and energyContinue reading “You’ve Never Found an Easier Way to Schedule Appointments”
I have found myself in so many classes this year with students who speak zero English. I desperately want to teach and work with these kids, and I’ve been practicing my Spanish using Pimsleur. However, I’m still not proficient enough to communicate any of my lesson material, not to mention that many speak a languageContinue reading “Tools to Counsel and Teach ESL Students”
Getting to know your students can be tricky–especially when your caseloads are out of proportion to recommended ratios, and you’re teaching virtually. But we all know that building relationships with your students is critical for us to become their “people” when they need us. However, we don’t always know what kind of vibes we’re puttingContinue reading “Get to Know Your Students Activity”
I attended a training a few years ago where the speaker gave us a math worksheet in Chinese and then instructed the group (all native English speakers) in Chinese to complete the worksheet. Friends, I am a grown woman who has solid coping skills, and I was incredibly frustrated and overwhelmed. I could see whyContinue reading “How Do You Adapt Lessons for ESL Students?”
I’m surprised by the folx out there who still say that “TikTok is for kids.” If you still think that, I’m about to change your mind with this little post about implementing tech tips I learned from TikTok into my school counseling practice. It has been transformational! I’ve learned quick hacks to speed up myContinue reading “These are the Tech Tips That Will Change Everything”
I got a text the week before school started asking, “Do school counselors also counsel teachers?” No, no, we don’t, but that doesn’t mean your mental health doesn’t matter to me. I’m more worried about teachers right now than ever before. The amount of stress and ambiguity they are under is enough to send aContinue reading “Teaching in a Pandemic: Your Mental Health”
Congrats on your new gig! If you’re just getting started, this will give you the basics of what you’ll need to get started. I went through my own Amazon list to share my favorites. (Update! Our accountant told me that I had money that I had to spend or I would lose it. (What a problem toContinue reading “New School Counselor Must-Haves”
Our children who are not reading proficiently by the end of third grade are less likely to graduate from high school, which reduces their likelihood of attending post-secondary education, which reduces their earning potential over their lifetime. That’s a lot riding on one skill.
The Polk Mentoring Alliance has created an exceptional list of 25 confidence-building activities. Many of these activities can be done individually or in small or large group formats. Most of the ideas are low to no cost and often don’t require many supplies. I have outlined 7 of my favorites below. Positively imagining the futureContinue reading “25 Ways to Help Your Students Become More Confident”
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Many school counselors are struggling with what to say to their staff during this difficult time. I know that many of us are the “feelings” person in our school for students and staff alike. This was the message that I sent to our staff with the hope of connecting and giving them resources to improveContinue reading “Boost Staff Morale: Letters from the School Counselor”
Teaching an emotional vocabulary is the first step to helping children learn to manage their emotions. The Emotional ABC’s program has recently made their accounts to FREE to teachers and counselors. The online program provides a format for counselors to allow their students to access online lessons from home. Through the Emotional ABC’s program, studentsContinue reading “Virtual School Counseling SEL Lessons for K-4 Students”
In a field that relies on connection, not being in the same physical space feels contrary to all that we do as counselors. Many counselors are finding themselves in uncharted territory right now due to #stayathome measures implemented by the government to combat the spread of COVID-19. How do we connect with our clients orContinue reading “Virtual Counseling Apps: What You Need to Know”
Should I call? That is probably the question many of you are asking yourselves right now. Is it weird to call? What would I say? Would it be bothersome to the families? The world for 2020 will undoubtedly be “unprecedented,” but that shouldn’t stop us from doing the next right thing. As counselors and teachers,Continue reading “Connecting with Students and Parents During COVID-19 School Closures”
Many school counselors and teachers are struggling to adapt their in-person lesson plans to the online format, but I think I have the solution. If you have not already used this resource in your classroom, you are going to fall in love! Last month, our tech guru, Gina McGhee, introduced me to PearDeck, which is anContinue reading “Answering Questions About School Counseling Lessons From a Distance”
In 2011, Shawn Achor delivered his Ted Talk titled, “The Happy Secret to Better Work” and made the research of happiness a mainstream phenomenon. Given that 2020 has been one long and winding rollercoaster for all of us, it seems rather apropos that we have a reminder for how to adjust our happiness. If you’veContinue reading “5 Things You Can Do to be Happy Now”
My words seem to fail me today, so I will simply lean on the wisdom of others and hope it finds you well. “Our brains are built to help us function as members of a tribe. We are part of that tribe even when we are by ourselves, whether listening to music (that other peopleContinue reading “Connecting in the New “Normal””
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Elishia Basner, M.S., is a school counselor, speaker, writer, and parenting coach. She has taught people of all ages and backgrounds the principles and practices of emotional healing for 13 years. Elishia helps people develop attitudes, behaviors, and habits that promote a life full of growth and self-discovery.
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