How Dr. Moon Creates a Lesson

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.





Dr. Poppy Moon is a Board Certified Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Certified School Counselor. She graduated magna cum laude from Centenary College of Louisiana with a BS degree in Chemistry and a minor in French. She obtained her masters degree in Counselor Education from Texas A & M Commerce. Dr. Moon attended the University of Alabama to earn her Ph.D. in Counselor Education, focusing on child and adolescent issues. This year Dr. Moon was honored to be selected as the 2015 Alabama Elementary School Counselor of the Year. Dr. Moon is an accomplished author and illustrator of guidance related games, books, and DVDs. Operation Breaking the Boy Code & Operation Breaking the Girl Code, Operation Breaking the Middle School Code, Kicky the Mean Chick, How to Be a Bully - NOT!, and Good Friends/Bad Friends & How to Know the Difference are just some of her creations. Dr. Moon was thrilled to receive a Mom’s Choice Gold Award for her book that she both wrote and illustrated, The School with No Rules. Two other books she illustrated, Brad Takes a Bite Out of Meanness and Princess Priscilla and the Bully Bee Day both received Mom’s Choice Silver Awards. Her first game, Snoots Toots! A Kids Guide to Empathy & Manners, received a Dr. Toy Best Game Award. Dr. Moon was selected as the University of West Alabama Elementary School Counselor of the Year in 2013. Her company, Out of This World Productions, creates streaming guidance media for counselors and teachers. OTWP produced all the digital material for the Cengage text Counseling Children. She believes that her goal in life is to help counselors be better counselors. She says, “There is magic in what we do. We change lives." Dr. Moon resides in Tuscaloosa, where she is a professor at the University of West Alabama. She lives with her imagination, a weenie dog named Snoots, and four amazing cats.
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