Join Dr. Moon as she covers some of the common issues facing school counselors today.
Meet Jenny Carson, a new school counselor. She has agreed to be interviewed over the course of the year, sharing with us all her new experiences along the way.
Here are some tips & ideas for interviews:
- Let them know how passionate you are about counseling.
- Tell them that one of your weaknesses might be planning a comprehensive program, but that you are up to the challenge with the help of another school counseling colleague (networking & consultation).
- Focus on how you are a team player
Share some experiences you had in your internship that helped you grow as a person and as a counselor.
Explain how you would help with a positive school climate:
- Being Visible
- Recognizing everyone for good work (teachers, cafeteria staff, admin, custodians, etc.)
- Creating a safe space for students (explain how you would do it).
- Programs for parents
- Family movie night
- Dad & Daughter lunch
Ask the interviewers:
- Will I be doing classroom, individual, & small groups?
- Will I have the freedom to run my own program and be supported?
- What duties will I expect to have (bus duty, etc.)
Listen to Dr. Moon talk about how she became a school counselor.
I think that all counselors MUST have an outlet that honors their spirit. Counselors must remember to take time for themselves.
I honor myself by taking photographs. I like the idea of being able to capture a moment of time, and share it with others. I would like to start sharing those photos with you.
You may honor yourself by gardening, painting, singing, playing an instrument, knitting, baking, running (ug!), meditating, or any practice that makes you feel good about yourself.
Counselors must model self-care. If you aren’t doing this, you cannot be an effective therapist.
My grandmother was a third grade teacher. This was way back in the day when teachers were respected by both parents & students. Mrs. McCain ran a tight ship. As you can see by her yearbook photo, she does NOT stand for ANY tomfoolery or horseplay. However, she was loved by her student, the administration, and especially the parents.
If you got in trouble in her classroom, you could be sure that your parents would know before the end of the school day. This was the time when people would say, “when I was in school, if I got in trouble I would also get in bigger trouble at home!”
I wish that were still true today. As a school counselor I have seen so many parents be rude to teachers and accuse them of poor teaching. It is a shame, and I am sure Mrs. Opal McCain would not stand for it!
So going through some of my grandmother’s old papers, I found this gem.
Look! The parents took responsibility. They talked with their child. They worked out a solution and agreed to suffer the consequences! Also, the parent recognized that the student was using his eyes as a “CRUTCH”! She said, “he has to learn to live with it”. WOW!
One of my students asked me:
Our school system is requiring all teachers to complete a minimum of one lesson concerning suicide with our students. Our counselor went through some basic information with us in about 10 minutes at a faculty meeting. Considering that I am working on my counseling degree, I wanted to do better than mediocre with this. Do you have any suggestions for resources or an idea of how best to start such a lesson?
This is a great question. The best part of the question is that the counselor recognized the need for more education. This is the mark of an excellent counselor. You must be able to recognize the needs in your school and decide how you will meet that need.
This is my response:
Good for you! I am glad that you see a need and want to fill it. That, my dear, is the mark of an excellent counselor. When I want to start something, I educate myself first. I always do a Google search. I try to be super specific, like:
suicide resources for high school counselors
suicide resources for elementary students
suicide lessons for …………
school counselor lessons on suicide
suicide faculty professional development
suicide educational PowerPoints
I then head over to YouTube, and do similar searches. People like to watch videos, so find some that might work well in the lesson.
So then I sift through everything and take bits of good info from everywhere. I cut and paste into a word doc or I make notes. This word doc is just info and ideas. Even if I have cut and pasted directly, I am not going to be plagiarizing because eventually I am going to write it in my own words.
From there, I began to create my lesson, brochure, handout, or whatever else you want to make.
This lesson focuses on talking. Students will make a pocket book that will teach them how to react in uncomfortable situations!