Well, here I am again, getting in my Saturday post just under the Y...6 minutes til midnight! Still considering changing my post schedule to the first Saturday of the month rather than every Saturday. Comment below if you have an opinion on this.... The links in RED lead to free resources from our Products Page- if you'd like the freebie, leave a comment below and we will send you the code for the resource so you can download it for free from our Google Docs account. So, comment away!
I thought I'd write tonight about guidance lessons. In my counseling team, we have just finished our first rotation of lessons where we meet with every student's class one time a month through their state-mandated PE (or equivalent physical fitness) class. Although it can be challenging to facilitate guidance lessons in the gym, we like the fact that it lets us connect with every student since no one is allowed to miss PE (or their equivalent class of physical fitness) in TX. For our first guidance lesson, we focused on introducing ourselves and what we do and how to access us. We give every student a Meet Your Counselor comic/drawing book (when I was an elementary counselor, we gave out a simpler coloring book version of Meet Your Counselor and our kids LOVED it since many of them had never had never received their very own coloring book). I've included a few pages of our Meet Your Counselor book in this link. During this first round of guidance lessons, we also spent some time going over anti-bullying strategies and role-playing the Four Steps of Conflict Resolution with students. I also have both of the resources in these two links above translated into Spanish- comment below with your email address if you'd like me to send it to you. We also use this lesson to plug our many curriculum-based guidance and counseling groups we start in late September- currently we have ten groups running!
For our second rotation, we will be facilitating guidance lessons on drug/alcohol avoidance to gear up for Red Ribbon Week at the end of October. We will also spend some time role-playing how to avoid and diffuse rumors/gossip as this is such a huge problem in middle school. I will post some info and resources about our second rotation in a future blog post- follow us on Facebook below to find out when.
Recently, I stumbled upon this fabulous article detailing the importance of using lesson plans in all guidance lessons! It was written by counselor coordinator, Tracy, who runs the Extraordinary Counselor blog. I love this article! I see so much of the 'no lesson plan-random acts of guidance' school counseling and it completely weakens the reputation of our profession! Let's hope with articles like this one that things are a changin'! I'm including a link here to one of my guidance lesson plans so you can see the format we use to plan all of our guidance lessons...we also email the lessons to all the teachers of the classes where we run guidance lessons so they can continue with the lesson plan optional activity, if they'd like.
In closing, I'd like to leave you with a very, very funny video spoof on therapy and counseling. Enjoy these hilarious actors and learn all about the latest syndrome taking over mental health in America: A.C.O.D!
And that brings us to the end of this Saturday's counseling post. Catch up with us again next Saturday for our post focusing on the ESL world. So, see ya back here next week, same time-same place! We'd love to hear about your experiences with guidance lessons, so please comment below. Remember, if you comment, we are happy to send you the code for the resources in RED above so you can download it for free from our Google Docs account. In the meantime, you can find out about our latest promotions, free stuff, or our counseling/ESL adventures by following us on our Facebook Page or Twitter Page.