What school counselors should do before school starts

What School Counselors Should Do Before School Starts

Heather Thomas Back-to-School 32 Comments

*Updated Post* This post contains affiliate links. Back-to-school season has always been an exciting time for me. My new school supplies and new schedule seemed like an invitation to endless possibilities. I’m still a sucker for new office supplies, but as a school counselor we can’t wait for opportunities. We need to make every minute count. As with almost anything else, preparation is key to success. I’m not gonna lie. We do a lot and by a lot…I mean EVERYTHING. Everything that has to do with social, emotional, behavioral development. This is in addition to anything & everything that can …

School counseling needs assessments made easy with Google - Save my survey to your Google Drive!

School Counseling Needs Assessment

Heather Thomas Program Management 14 Comments

This post was updated to include a shareable version of my needs assessment on 7/09/17! Conducting a school counseling needs assessment is a crucial step in running a successful counseling program. A comprehensive guidance curriculum is, well, comprehensive and you run the risk of overwhelming your staff if you survey them about every possible topic a counselors could cover. However, if you can get administrative backing to perform a comprehensive assessment, then I say go for it. (You can find examples of teacher and parent needs assessments based on ASCA’s standards and benchmarks in my school counseling binder on TPT.) …

13 Reasons Why Schools Need Counselors

13 Reasons Why Schools Need Counselors

Heather Thomas School Counseling 8 Comments

School counselors are cringing nationwide as they watch Mr. Porter, the counselor in the book and Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, fumble through his role as the school counselor at Liberty High. Time and time again, Mr. Porter failed those who came to him for help. Now I get that characters need to act a certain way in order to further the storyline. They do things that don’t make sense, like investigate spooky noises by themselves in the middle of the night or camp out in haunted forests. It’s ridiculous behavior. I argue that Mr. Porter’s behavior was even MORE ridiculous…primarily …

100s of tips for school counselors!

Top 16 Posts for 2016

Heather Thomas Counseling Activities & Resources 0 Comments

The end of the year is a great time to reflect on the highlights of the past 12 months! 2016 was a great year in so many respects…one of my favorite highlights for The Helpful Counselor is that over 500,000 NEW readers stopped by for a visit…Can you believe it? I even did a double take…What an honor! You guys seriously rock. It really is amazing! I went from being the “lone wolf” counselor in a rural school district to having a network of counselors all over the world….if you’re not already part of that super awesome network -> What are …

Sexual abuse is never funny

Sexual Victimization: The Locker Room is No Excuse

Heather Thomas Advocacy 2 Comments

Locker rooms are no excuse to brag about sexually victimizing women. Period. This post isn’t meant to be political. I’m not trying to persuade you to vote one way or another. (You can read about the controversy here if you wish to get some background information.) What I am asking of you is to be an advocate. Not an advocate for a specific person whether that be a presidential candidate or a possible victim. I asking challenging you to step up and be an advocate for sexual abuse victims everywhere. And yes, it is a CHALLENGE! Take a look at the …


School Counselor Must-Dos for the New School Year

Heather Thomas Back-to-School 0 Comments

The first few weeks of school is critical for school counselors for setting up their school counseling program. Luckily, there are several things we can do to ensure a smooth transition into the school year. In addition, you will be able to reap the benefits of the tips below throughout the school year. So, without further delay here are my tips for setting yourself up for a productive and effective school year: Check In On Caseload Kids & Their Parents Don’t wait for an issue to pop up before seeing your students. Getting a little “face time” and building on …