I work at a K-12 school and I spend most of my time counseling elementary students. I'm not really sure why. Perhaps it is because my office is on the primary side of the building, or because I've worked at an elementary school in the past, or maybe they have more needs than the secondary kiddos. Either way, I decided I wanted to get to know my high school students more so I decided to set up minute meetings as a way to check-in with everyone.

What is a minute meeting?

A minute meeting is a quick check-in meeting that lasts a few minutes. It is a good way to touch base with a large number of students in a short amount of time.

Why do minute meetings?

I find that minute meetings give insight into students' needs who might otherwise slip through the cracks. You are reminding students that you are a resource they can use and you are getting to know all of your students on a personal level, not just those frequent flyers or high performers. It is a great way to advocate for your position by showing face around campus too!

When do you do minute meetings?

I pulled kids out of homeroom so they didn't miss instructional time. Our homeroom period is only 10 minutes so it took a few weeks to see everyone. I also squeezed some in during break or lunch. Since the meetings are short I didn't waste time bringing students back to my office. I brought my computer and we sat outside of their classroom.

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What do you talk about in minute meetings?

I did mine in November so students were preparing for final exams. I knew they were feeling stressed so I wanted to check-in and see how they were feeling about school, their social life, and their post-graduation plans. I sent out a Google Form with the following questions to all high school students.

  • What is your name?

  • What grade are you in?

  • On a scale of 1-10, how stressed are you about your schoolwork?

  • On a scale of 1-10, how stressed are you about your social life (friendships and relationships)?

  • On a scale of 1-10, how stressed are you about your post-graduation plans?

  • Do you feel like our school supports your social-emotional needs?

  • Is there anything else on your mind that you'd like to share? (It is confidential.)

Their teachers asked them to fill it out in homeroom and I followed up with them the following week. Some students I met with hadn't yet filled out the survey so I asked them the questions in person.

Download a free editable version of the Google Form here.

How do you stay organized in minute meetings?

Fortunately, Google Forms auto-populates a spreadsheet with the answers. I used this as a starting point to go off of. Here is what my script usually sounded like.

"Hey Carla, how are you today? As you know I'm the new school counselor this year and I am trying to get to know the high school students better. I know this time of year can be stressful with finals so I wanted to check-in and see how you were doing. Thanks for answering the survey I sent out. On a scale of 1-10 of how stressed you are with schoolwork, you put a 7. What's stressing you out? Are you able to manage your stress? etc"

I would go through each question with them and give them an opportunity to share. Some students took 5 minutes and some only took 1. I always ended the conversation reminding students where my office is located if they need additional support.

On my spreadsheet, I took notes of any comments they made and kept a list of students I wanted to follow up on or who I thought would be a good fit for counseling.

Now I want to do the same thing with middle schoolers. Have you ever hosted minute meetings? What did yours look like? Let me know in the comments!

How to host minute meetings that make a difference


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