Celebrating School Counsellors from Across the World

Guest Blog Post by Phil Echols @PhilEchols

You can see Phil here:


Creating Videos that Change Your School Climate

Setting the tone for a positive school year begins with creativity, planning, and engaging tactics that will inspire staff and students.  We are ever evolving; attention spans are decreasing, and multi-tasking capabilities of students and staff are growing daily!   It’s important to capture attention by including all the different learning styles in the room, to help get your message across.  Incorporating technology and videos into your school culture can increase positive behaviors, as well as assist students academically and socially.

When presenting one of your classroom lessons you may ask students to participate in an impromptu skit or have them read a scenario for a class discussion.  After saying “no” to all of your eager beavers that never get tired of volunteering, you’re left pleading with a large group of students who are afraid of making a mistake, lacking confidence in their reading ability, or simply weren’t paying attention.  Why not have them participate in advance by featuring them in a video?  Students afraid of making mistakes can re-record as often as they need.  To the students who get nervous reading in front of peers, reading to a recording device isn’t nearly as traumatic.  And the students who can barely keep their eyes open will be front row and center while waiting for their big film debut.

Technology has become an essential part of the learning process.  Creating videos also is a great way to supplement your PBIS and Character Education programs.  Many schools already have video production with morning broadcast.  Why not add a school counselor twist?  You could add a positive tip for the week, academic advice, or even a thought-provoking fun facts about your student body.  As we progress through the 21st century, it’s important that we do so with innovation and creativity.


Positive Tips for the week:

  • Introduce yourself to someone new.
  • Smiles are contagious.
  • Have the courage to ask for help.
  • It’s okay to not be perfect.
  • Treat others the way they want to be treated.


Academic advice:

  • Schedule your study time.
  • Monitor your grades regularly.
  • Be proactive.
  • Identify opportunities to receive help (e.g. tutoring)
  • Schedule time with your advisor/counsellor


Thought-provoking fun facts about your student body:

  • How many students attend your school?
  • Which grade level has the most students?
  • How many countries are represented in our student body?
  • Which new student travelled the furthest to be here?

Step 1:  Find a subject for your content.  This could be something as simple as choosing a character trait, a target behavior, or students you’d like to feature.  You could enhance things you’re already doing.  Create follow-up reviews to your classroom lessons or create promotional videos for activities during bullying prevention month.  You could also find content by conducting a needs survey.  Create videos centered around areas with the most energy (i.e. organization, study skills, coping strategies, test-taking anxiety, etc.).


Step 2:  Map out your digital story.  This could be a slideshow with music or a full on video production.  Decide what types of photos/footage you’ll need and what your message will be.  Simple messages that are easy to grasp work best:


  1. Correct/Incorrect way to do things.
  2. Interviews and Polls
  3. Sharing information


Step 3:  Choose your recording device and video platform. Take pictures or record clips with your phone or a video camera.  If you’d like to use something other than your phone or iPad, handheld cameras work perfectly.


Step :  Choose an editing tool.  Once you’ve captured your footage, you want to decide on an editing tool.  If you’re simply using photos, Animoto is a great tool.  It does most of the editing for you.  Many devices already have editing software installed.  Apple products (i.e. iPad, Macbook, iPhones) typically come equipped with iMovie.  Microsoft has Movie Maker.  If you’re looking for something a little more advanced you can purchase VideoStudio Pro, Final Cut Pro, or Adobe Premiere.  Upload your footage and begin to piece your production together.


Step :  Upload your content and share.  Once you’ve gotten the video to your liking, decide how and where you’d like to share it.  If the video is going public (beyond your school) make you have video release forms for all recognizable students.  Also, make sure you’re using royalty free music and images.  If you’re showing the video in a classroom, you can burn the video to a disc and show it  in a dvd player.  If you’d like to post the video or send via email, upload it to a video platform (i.e. Youtube or Vimeo) and share.


Integrity Video – 


Tardy Project – 


Rising 6th Grade Information – 


P.R.I.D.E. (Positive Behavior Intervention Support) 

Happy –

Thanks Phil for sharing! Any School Counsellor who would like to share a blog post, please contact me at @sspellmancann Better yet start your own blog. I look forward to it!

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