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 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 …


Fun Ways to Welcome New Students

Heather Thomas Back-to-School 3 Comments

Welcoming new students to our schools is one of the things school counselors should do during the first few weeks of school. Leaving old friends and familiar surroundings can make students feel alone and isolated. Typically, meeting a new friend (or two) and learning the procedures and layout of the building can do wonders to ease anxiety and help their transition. Meeting with your new students in a small group setting is extremely helpful in getting the biggest bang for your time…in terms of time. -> You can meet with multiple kids at once and they get to meet other …

Hey school counselors! Do these 10 things in the spring to prepare you for next school year!

10 Things School Counselors Can Do Now to Prepare for Next Year

Heather Thomas Back-to-School 2 Comments

School counselors are pulled in multiple directions throughout the school year. As the end of the year approaches, it can be very tempting to shove all of your unfiled notes and documents into the far reaches of your desk or in exchange for fun in the sun. Yes, summer break is a perk (of the job) that I look forward to every year. But I’ve learned the hard way that an ounce of prevention is worth (far more) than a pound of cure. Putting things off today to do tomorrow doesn’t work in the field of school counseling. The promise …

Elementary School Counselor Intro Free Download

Elementary School Counselor Introduction Lesson

Heather Thomas Back-to-School, Guidance Lessons 50 Comments

A new school year brings another round of School Counselor Intro lessons. Last year, I attempted to combine my meet the counselor lesson with a bullying lesson to save time but it really wasn’t effective. After trying to kill two birds with one stone, I’ve come to the belief that elementary school counselors should have a separate intro lesson. Reasons why I didn’t like combining my lessons: Too much information in too short of a time period. I felt really rushed to cover a lot of information. I know if I am feeling rushed, some of my students will feel …

School Counselor Welcome Back Newsletter

Open House Welcome Back Letter from the School Counselor

Heather Thomas Back-to-School 1 Comment

A “welcome back” letter to families is a great way to reach out and reconnect at the beginning of the school year. The point of my letter isn’t to provide a lot of information about the school counseling program (although I do include a copy of my counseling brochure). Rather, it is to reach out to parents and remind them that I’m available if they have any concerns. I have a handful of students that I try to see early on, but it is not practical to touch base with all of my past students within the first few weeks …