Advice for Teaching Online & In-Person

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”

You’ve Never Found an Easier Way to Schedule Appointments

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”

Tools to Counsel and Teach ESL Students

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”

Get to Know Your Students Activity

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”

How Do You Adapt Lessons for ESL Students?

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?”

New School Counselor Must-Haves

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. Basic Supply List I love Amazon as much as the next gal, but a lot of my office toys came fromContinue reading “New School Counselor Must-Haves”

25 Ways to Help Your Students Become More Confident

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”

Doing This Helps Teens Feel Happier, Less Anxious, & More Productive

For all of my high school and college counselors out there, this could be an amazing project for your students to learn emotional introspection (remotely.) Self-Authoring is an online program that allows students to learn writing skills, develop goal setting, and enhance their self-reflection skills by writing prompts regarding their past, present, and future. WritingContinue reading “Doing This Helps Teens Feel Happier, Less Anxious, & More Productive”

The Best Way to Teach Career Programming for Elementary School

My lesson plan for February focused on career exploration for elementary students. I would imagine that to most laypeople, a lesson on “careers” in elementary school might seem a bit overzealous. However, career education is part of our counseling standards. My goal in teaching elementary-aged students about careers is to help them determine their currentContinue reading “The Best Way to Teach Career Programming for Elementary School”

Why “Getting Good Grades” is a False Promise For Success

A few years ago, I encountered an 8th-grade student who was reading on a first-grade level and thought, “How does this happen?” It didn’t take long for me to figure it out, and now there is plenty of data to back up what I had once only suspected. Educators and parents alike continuously tell studentsContinue reading “Why “Getting Good Grades” is a False Promise For Success”

Virtual School Counseling SEL Lessons for K-4 Students

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”

Reduce Shame: Help Kids Understand Why They Lose Control

Teaching children how to manage their emotions is an essential skill to ensure healthy and positive relationships. We previously discussed the benefits of bringing awareness to our feelings and naming them to exert control. However, giving kids tangible descriptors to understand how their brains maintain control can also help them know how to bring theirContinue reading “Reduce Shame: Help Kids Understand Why They Lose Control”

Answering Questions About School Counseling Lessons From a Distance

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”

Read This to Discover a Powerful Method to Teach Children Emotional Regulation

This past week I worked with my 5th-grade students on developing coping strategies when they “flip their lids.” Child psychiatrist and author of Hindsight and Brainstorm Daniel Siegel describe the process that leads to explosive anger as “flipping your lid” and something that occurs when individuals haven’t yet learned how to regulate their emotions effectively. When our students (orContinue reading “Read This to Discover a Powerful Method to Teach Children Emotional Regulation”

Finding Lesson Plans for School Counseling Is Easier Than You Think

Are you still trying to create your own lesson plans?  Stop!  You don’t have to recreate the wheel because it has already been done for you. There are so many resources available for school counselors to access canned lesson plans that are actually worthy of your time and attention.  I’ve compiled a list below toContinue reading “Finding Lesson Plans for School Counseling Is Easier Than You Think”

Study Skills Jeopardy Game for Students

Testing season is upon us, and I wanted to share a lesson on helping students learn skills that will help them feel calm and confident before and during a test.  I could easily go on a tangent about the validity and relevance of the tests our students take, but instead, I’ll just give you supportContinue reading “Study Skills Jeopardy Game for Students”

I Wish All School Counselors Did This Too

I want parents to feel like we’re a team, a village, raising their children together.  I don’t want the first time I communicate with a parent to be because their kid is having trouble.  I know that a lot of counselors send out generic monthly newsletters, but I thought about what I would want fromContinue reading “I Wish All School Counselors Did This Too”

How to Sell the Love of Learning and Get Them to Buy

How many teachers complain that their students don’t want to be in school?  Most?  What if we could change the way students value learning?  Maria Montessori said that “The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn.”  I happen to agree with Maria.  I want to createContinue reading “How to Sell the Love of Learning and Get Them to Buy”

Tired of fighting? Teach Kids How To Cooperate

I love that I have the opportunity to teach kids how to get along with one another.  What a gift!  This free lesson plan for cooperation can be adapted from 5th grade up through high school aged students and beyond.  I’ll keep this post short because the bulk of the information about the lesson isContinue reading “Tired of fighting? Teach Kids How To Cooperate”

Fun Activities to Teach Kids About Self-Control

Learning to regulate emotions can be challenging for many students, but it is a critical component of development and one that can be taught in fun and interesting ways. Below are a few techniques to help your students develop these critical skills. USE BOOKS AS EXAMPLES I love starting a lesson with a story and Clark the SharkContinue reading “Fun Activities to Teach Kids About Self-Control”

Do Social and Emotional Programs Really Work?

If you’ve been in the school counseling field for any length of time, you know the importance of social and emotional development. You understand that a kid who is flipping a desk cannot possibility learn math in that moment and those executive functioning skills must be taught first. But how can only one person, theContinue reading “Do Social and Emotional Programs Really Work?”

I Used Mindfulness in a Classroom Lesson and This is How It Went

I have been practicing mindfulness for a little over two years now and have discovered that through this daily practice, I’ve trained my brain to be more in tune with the world and have learned to focus my attention better throughout the day.  I’ve realized that I’m more resilient and able to bounce back fromContinue reading “I Used Mindfulness in a Classroom Lesson and This is How It Went”

Worried About Your Kids Online? This Can Help

I was recently asked to speak to parents about online safety for kids and after reading the first safety article in my research, I felt compelled to crawl into the fetal position; the internet can be a scary place for kids. Let’s get the scary stuff out of the way first: online predators, identity thieves,Continue reading “Worried About Your Kids Online? This Can Help”

Work Smarter, Not Harder With These Free Lesson Plans

I firmly believe in the notion of working smarter, not harder, which is why I was so excited when I stumbled across The NED Show a character education program that provides a number of FREE lesson plans that you can print right from your computer.  The list of lesson topics includes many of the sameContinue reading “Work Smarter, Not Harder With These Free Lesson Plans”

More Than Acceptance, Embracing Weaknesses

Instead of eliminating our shortcomings or perceived deficits, how do we instead use our “weaknesses” to our advantage?  The College Foundation of North Carolina created a short career interest survey to help elementary aged students find their area of interest broken down into six easy to understand categories.   My brain went into overdrive whenContinue reading “More Than Acceptance, Embracing Weaknesses”

Erin’s Law: A Personal Body Safety Lesson

We teach kids the importance of wearing seatbelts, helmets, and the consequences of hot objects, but until recently we hadn’t taught kids how to protect themselves against sexual abuse.  According to Rainn, in a school of 1,000 students, 98  (1:6 girls and 1:33 boys) will likely be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Fortunately, my home state,Continue reading “Erin’s Law: A Personal Body Safety Lesson”

The Power of Yet: A Free School Counseling Lesson

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”  -Albert Einstein Teaching growth mindset to students is fundamental to ensure their educational success.  Students must understand that in order to reach our goals, we must step out of our comfort zone and try tasks that are just beyond our abilityContinue reading “The Power of Yet: A Free School Counseling Lesson”