It’s almost National School Counselor Week!
This is a wonderful week to celebrate just how awesome school counselors are, but also to advocate for more positions and appropriate responsibilities. Advocacy and celebration can be a tricky mix, so here are some of my favorite activities from over the years that support National School Counselor Week.
Encourage Mindfulful Moments
For National School Counselor Week I try to encourage teacher self-care and mindfulness by tapping into all their senses. Each day I put a mindful treat in the workroom along with a sign that explained its benefits and/or had an encouraging quote.
Newsletters and School Announcements
This week can be tricky because I love to share data about my program, but I don’t want to come across as “bragging.” So I use my newsletter to share with teachers information about our role and the history of school counseling and NSCW.
Looking for a newsletter? You can get my editable newsletter right here.
Promote Staff Self Care
My first year working in an elementary school I called a local restaurant to see if they would donate chicken noodle soup for our staff and they did! In fact, we ate soup for a week.
I set out the giant pots of soup in the teacher’s lounge with old magazines I had laying around. I encouraged the teachers to sit back, relax, and decompress with “People” magazine. To this day it’s the NSCW I remember the most because I got such great feedback about it. Plus, I didn’t spend a penny.
In light of COVID, I would consider asking restaurants for a discount or a small batch of pre-packaged food.
The next year I asked a friend, who owned Barre11 in Murfreesboro, TN if she would teach a free teacher class. She did, and the teachers and I spent many days commiserating about our sore legs.
I have also taught a yoga class for my teachers! It’s nice to exercise and spend time on self-care together.
Trivia, Contests, and Giveaways
Back in 2014, I started doing trivia and contests to get my teachers and students involved. I ask them questions about me, my position, and sometimes about the theme. For example, when our theme was “Reach For the Stars” in 2018 I asked them questions about stars.
Classes could email or submit their answers to me and then I would give the correct answers either a book or put them in a drawing. I got my books from Scholastic Book Club and one year the teachers entered a drawing for a TPT gift card. They loved it!
Questions could include:
- What 3 areas does a School Counselor help with (social/emotional, career and academics?)
- What is something that a Counselor does not do? (ex. discipline students)
- Explain what confidenality is.
- What is the name of your counselors dog(s)?
- What is a favorite book you have read with your counselor this year?
- What do you think it means to be “all in?”
- T or F: School Counselors only help some students. (F: We are ALL in for ALL students.)
Looking for trivia examples? You can get my trivia examples right here.
Staff Thank You’s
I enjoy saying “thank you” to the teachers this week because we are a team and without them, we couldn’t do our jobs. You can get a copy of thank you ideas here.
Last year my principal asked me to not do this, so you may want to run this idea by them first. She felt like the teachers had Teacher Appreciation Week and she wanted us to celebrate in other ways. So, talk with your administration or school counseling advisory board if you have similar concerns.