Mini-PD and Summer Self-Care Tips for School Counselors

I'm writing this in June so it seemed timely to share some mini-PD and self-care tips to start your summer off right! Take these bite-size PD strategies with you as you plan for next year and don't forget to incorporate that much-needed self-care!

Mini PD: Managing Kindergarten Classroom Behaviors

Does teaching a class lesson to little ones intimidate you? It can seem nearly impossible to keep kids engaged while managing challenging behaviors. Maybe this was a struggle for you this past school year and you want to improve your skills before returning in August.

Kindergarten classroom

We definitely didn't learn this in grad school! Which is why I interviewed the expert! Kristina, from Sweet for Kindergarten, shares classroom management and engagement strategies for school counselors in this podcast episode.

Mini PD: Spruce Up your Student Journals

Do you use journals with your students? I love to use them at the end of a small group or individual session to check for understanding and check-in on student emotions, however it's not always easy to get the kiddos engaged. We're either rushing through journals before the session ends or the kids are unmotivated and only writing a couple of sentences.

It's not as simple as it sounds. Which is why I called in the literacy expert! Megan, from The Literacy Dive, shares strategies for school counselors to get their students writing with purpose in this podcast episode.

Mini PD: Collect Yearlong Counseling Data

Oftentimes when we think about data collection it's at the end of the semester or school year. You want to compile a fancy report but you realize you don't have any data to include! Sound familiar? Don't worry, I've got you covered. Summer is the perfect time to begin with the end in mind!

Start by collecting data from these areas:

  • Services provided (refer to your calendar and counseling log)

  • Student self-assessments (send these to groups and individuals)

  • Teacher/parent feedback

  • Progress monitoring scales (refer to behavior surveys)

  • Observations

  • Pre and post group surveys

Read this post for a more detailed look at yearlong data collection.

Summer Self-Care Tips for School Counselors

While PD is important to staying up to date on counseling trends over the summer, I've saved the best for last! Check out these summer self-care tips for school counselors.

Read for pleasure (and for PD!) - Grab a fun beach read novel or a non-fiction self-improvement book (whatever floats your boat!). Bonus points if you pick up a counseling, psychology, or education related read. The ritual of reading poolside can still be relaxing but you're enhancing your craft and preparing for next year at the same time!

Practice Mindfulness - Starting a morning routine seems simple but the results are profound. Working at a school, you're used to a routine anyways (and maybe you even still wake up early in the summer!). Taking 30 minutes to meditate and journal can literally re-wire your brain, allowing you to be in a calm, less reactive state when you return to school.

self care tips for school counselors

Get into nature! - Are you a beach or mountain person? Either way unplug and get outside! Your health and mental health will thank you.

  • My go-to nature activity: hiking and then cooling off with an ocean swim!

Hopefully these tips help you feel prepared for back to school and simultaneously excited for your summer!

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