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.) …

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 …

RATE for school counseling program eval

Seize the Moment: The Art of Failing Forward

Heather Thomas Professional Growth 5 Comments

Typically, we associate “seizing the moment” with some sort of victory. I’m not talking about that kind of “seize the moment”. I’m talking about the moments in life when we fall flat on our face, when we feel like crawling under the covers for the next 48 hours (or so), when we question why we even bother fighting the good fight. The ability to seize the moment in the face of adversity is the difference between allowing something to make you bitter or better. While this philosophy can be applied to life in general, it is essential for all school …

SMART Goals for the New Year Twitter

GoodBye Resolutions, Hello SMART Goals

Heather Thomas Counseling Activities & Resources 11 Comments

Forget New Year’s resolutions…SMART Goals are much more helpful! Let’s take a look… How do you feel about your past New Year’s resolutions? How successful have you been? Now…think about your past goals? How successful have you been? If you’re anything like me, you have achieved waaaay more goals than resolutions. New Years Resolutions Don’t Work I’ve given up making resolutions. They are too rigid. The root word “resolute” leaves no wiggle room for setbacks or other detours. The Oxford Dictionary describes resolute as “admirably determined, determined, and unwavering”. Unwavering? Ouch! No wonder when we aren’t 100% true to our …

Comprehensive Social Skills Checklist

Response to Intervention: The Ultimate Social Skills Checklist

Heather Thomas Program Management 3 Comments

I have learned (the hard way) that not all social skill deficits are one & the same. In an effort to save time, I tried to have grade level social skills groups. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but once my groups got underway it became pretty clear that the children in my groups had very different skill sets. There I was, trying to save time by teaching all of my students social skills at the same time. While struggling to meet the needs of my students and keep them engaged, I had to ask myself, “Was …