Lesson 5 for a New School Counsellor : The 3 R’s

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The 3 R’s

Relationships are fundamental to what you do. You need to work at creating them in your school. Your principal, administrators and teachers are often the ones who refer students, so create positive relationships with them often. Find ways to connect whether through sending positive uplifting emails or sitting in the lunchroom talking about life NOT students. Connect with students in as many ways as possible. Running groups, promoting a fun positive wellness day, stopping to chat or smiling at a student for no particular reason; find what works for you in your school. Relationships with community organizations, parents, and anyone who is connected with students or needs to be connected to students is essential.

Read often. Read the most updated research on counselling issues. Read articles, blogs or journal articles on School Counselling. Read for pleasure, but just continually read.

Resources are essential. Stop reinventing the wheel. There are so many great resources out there for you. I have collated a few that might be helpful. Twitter is an amazing place to get ideas and find resources. So check out #scchat on a regular basis.

School Counsellors Are There To Help

School Counsellors are trained professionals who understand child development, often with Masters degrees in Counselling or more, who partake in ongoing professional development and extensive mental health training . They know school culture and how the education system works, making them readily able to help youth in an effective manner.

Often the first place students present any concerns are in schools because that is where they spend so much time. The educators get to know students well building trusting relationships. School Counsellors have the whole child in mind with access to a comprehensive background regarding the students history in school, so are often able to make decisions collaboratively in the best interest of students.

If you are a new teacher and have never accessed your School Counsellor , please do so. They are there to help you help the student. When all work together to help our youth it is more likely to make a difference in the life of a child. Now more than ever we must do all we can together to help.

Look for the Little Things


Most days on my walk I travel the same path. Even though I am going the same way I always look for something different and if I keep my eyes wide open I find them. This was out on my deck today and it almost doesn’t look real. It’s so cute, a little caterpillar that turns into a beautiful eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly.

It doesn’t take much these days to entertain me. It’s a slow pace of life where I am and I know I’ll be back to the city soon enough. For today I will take pleasure in the small things you might want to look for them too.

Creative Templates for School Counsellors

Photo by Jesus Kiteque on Unsplash

Templates are a great visual for creating back to school Comprehensive School Counselling Plans or doing amazing presentations for students. Slidesmania offers over 200 slides and powerpoints to choose from. Pick ones that work best for you. If you’d like more free templates that you can use click here.

Here are some other ways you can use the slides in your program:

  • Weekly planner for lessons. 
  • Monthly planner. There are many great digital planners to choose from.
  • To store your best resources in files.
  • Want to jot down some notes for resources you’d like to create, there are some cool notebooks to choose from.
  • You or your school may have a YouTube channel , you can use the YouTube template. 
  • Need some quick slides to do a presentation, there are so many great choices.
  • See my idea for using this School Planner you can add your own emoji using emojime.
  • I also love the potential for using the binder slide. It is fabulous.
  • For an artistic presentation look no further. You can find a hopscotch and comic template. 
  • For your classic teacher chalkboard you can find that too.

Most importantly have fun and create while using something that is useful for your program this year. In case you need more tips, click on the how to link at the top of the website. Slidesmania can make your back to school a little more creative and save you some precious time as well.

Have some creative templates that you have designed? Please feel free to share.

Empathy Chats

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School Counsellors -> Students -> Families ->Staff

We all need a little empathy at this moment in time. School Counsellors are a key player in providing these chats with students , families and the staff in their schools. Harvard offers some great tips on how to build empathy in your schools

Administrators->School Counsellors

I had a very wise administrator who once said to me that my job was to look after the students his job was to look after me. We all need support at this time. It is a give and take. All of us need a supportive person in our corner.

Let’s be intentional in supporting one another.

We can all :

Be positive in our interactions

Help others feel understood

Make people feel heard. You can use these creative approaches.

Teach empathy lessons

Utilize some empathy exercises with students

Validate their feelings

Work towards solutions

Together we will make this a better year for all by demonstrating empathy.

Just For Today Spinner

I like to use spinners with students and they like them too especially the little guys. Here is an example of a Just For Today spinner. You can make one too they are easy to do at wheeldecide.com.

You can also check out some of my other spinners:

Affirmations wheel

Friendship wheel

Gratitude wheel

Hope wheel

Positive sayings wheel

What can I do today? wheel

if you’d like to try another wheel maker click on how to create spinning wheels.

10 Affirmations for School Counsellors

1. I will face this school year with strength and demonstrate my leadership skills. I will lead from my heart with courage.

2. I will bring my best to school each day helping as many students as possible, wherever and whenever possible.

3. I will live just for today helping students and staff while taking care of myself.

4. I will radiate confidence, strength and hope in all I do.

5. I will be brave and model bravery for my students and staff.

6. I will practice being grateful each day as I enter the school building or my workplace wherever that may be.

7. I will look at all the possibilities and opportunities this time offers me.

8. I will open my heart to the staff and students I work with focusing on their strengths.

9. I will celebrate all that is right in my school and in the world.

10. In my words, actions and deeds, I will let go of fears and embrace love, joy and hope. I know that being a School Counsellor is what I am meant to do and be.

OER and School Counsellors

What is Open Educational Resources and why should School Counsellors contribute to the #oer commons? “The term “Open Educational Resource(s)” (OER) refers to educational resources (lesson plans, quizzes, syllabi, instructional modules, simulations, etc.) that are freely available for use, reuse, adaptation, and sharing.”

As an educator I have always been willing to share my work freely. If anyone asked and even when they did not I was always willing and happily shared anything I created. In 2013, I joined Etmooc and developed a new understanding of being an open educator and what a creative commons license meant.

This year a School Counsellor on twitter was asking for a place to collate school counselling materials and @verenanz one of my friends and fellow etmooc ‘er suggested the oercommons. I was excited a place to share freely.

Megan from the commons quickly connected and offered to assist. So here we go the first School Counsellor group on the commons . School Counsellors from Across The World. You too can contribute and join this group.

It’s easy to create and share on the commons and you can feel free to remix any of my work. I say if i can do it , so can you and I am willing to help any of you learn how to just DM me on twitter @sspellmancann.

Megan has also offered to set up PD as well, so be on the lookout in September around the 16th for some great PD.

Need more reasons to contribute ? Watch this …

So School Counsellors join in. We can model for our students why #oer is important. Collaboration is key and we can help each other by working together to share, remix and help each other.

There are so many reasons to use oer. The most important thing about OER is it enables the best quality knowledge material to travel free of charge to the most remote and underserved places in the world. Who doesn’t want to be a part of that?