Posted in Love For The Elementary Counselor, School Counseling Program

Resources for Parents & Students regarding COVID-19

There are a lot of different ways that counselors can help students during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic and distance learning. We have all been adapting our roles to online platforms as we can no longer meet with our students in person or teach SEL lessons like we used to, but students need us now more than ever as they are required to deal with a new and scary virus that is hard for many adults to deal with, not to mention that they are being asked to do work on an online platform most have never used before, and stresses that were in their home before the pandemic are as obvious as ever.

I want to encourage you to explore how you can be intentional about each of these areas as you work with your students. I have posted food resources, counseling resources, etc. on my school page for students and parents to access. I have been calling students that I had been meeting with prior to schools closing to find ways to gain parental consent to meet with students over video chat or over a google voice number that allows me to keep my own phone number private (see more here: I adjusted my previous group counseling curriculum to be interactive over video chat and scheduled times with my groups to meet together online. I am also checking in on students with 504’s, have had a suicide assessment in the last couple of months, and anyone that teachers have struggled to get a hold of in order to encourage their students to begin their online coursework.

I wanted to share some of the resources I shared with families regarding COVID-19. I know that a lot of students are confused, worried, and frightened so I wanted to share anything that might help educate our students and their families and to provide resources to help manage the concerns and worries of their children. It’s so important for us to provide resources for parents in order for them to cope with the changes and concerns revolving this virus; children learn how to deal with what is going on around them from their parents, so the better parents handle this time the better their children will as well!

This is what I shared on my page with parents:
Here you will find several resources for parents and students in regards to concerns surrounding COVID-19. Please remember that children are very perceptive and can sense the stress and confusion surrounding all of the changes we have been experiencing, not to mention that they are undergoing a huge transition from learning at school with their teachers and friends to learning online with the help of loved ones. Mental health, social emotional learning, and checking in on the feelings, worries, and understanding of our children of all that is going on around them is a priority. I hope these resources are helpful and I encourage you to utilize the resources around you at this time.

Here you will find some great insight on how to talk to kids about COVID-19 & how to address anxiety/worries that arise in response to this virus. (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)


The following website provides a great resource for students to learn more about COVID-19

Counselors, I understand that our roles during this time may vary drastically. I would love to hear what you have been doing during this time to help our students! Please share below!

Posted in School Counseling Program

Student Council Program

Downloadable documents for student council elections and the student council program are below. You are welcome to edit these to use for your own program!

Although this is just a piece of our program, it has helped me tremendously. In addition to character education lessons at every student council meeting and fundraisers that help us to fund our PBIS program, the student council also plans community service opportunities for our school to participate in and lead kindness week and other spirit weeks at our school. Our student council is a vital part of our school and they have taught me at least as much as I have taught them. I hope this is helpful to your program!

The student council program outline provides a participant roster of your student council, a schedule (including fundraisers and meetings), fundraiser planning, and meeting minutes that include a recommended lesson plan that focuses on the leadership development of council members.
The call for applicants can be posted at your school to let students know that student council elections will be held soon and to fill out an application if interested.
The position description list explains the different student council roles and responsibilities.
The student council application provides a space for students to list their qualifications and plans on the council in addition to a teacher’s rating/recommendation.
The important information for student council applicants document provides an outline of the election process and everything students need to prepare.
The classroom rep ballot provides an editable document for students to vote for classroom representative and the executive council.

Posted in School Counseling Program

Kindness Week (January 27-31 2020)

My school is celebrating kindness week by doing kindness bingo on their own throughout the week (those who complete will receive a small candy from me) and through kindness challenges that are discussed on our school morning show/announcements and through fliers that are placed throughout our school. I will share the materials I used for this below, in addition to the TPT link that shows many other great materials that you can use at your school!

Posted in School Counseling Program

Group Counseling – Consent Forms

Wording for group counseling consent forms can be a bit tricky and time consuming. Below you will find a consent form for a social skills small group. It is very easily adaptable as you only have to change the behaviors learned and the topic of the group. Please feel free to edit this and make it your own. As always, I hope this blog may provide you with efficient and effective resources to save you time in order to better serve your students through things that matter!

Posted in School Counseling Program

SEL Newsletter

Using a newsletter, I will be sharing with families different resources, topics discussed in SEL that month, a counselor referral QR code, and more! When I send this to teachers to include with their newsletter, I also send ways for them to connect to SEL activities that were taught as well. For example, the following connections were shared in my last email that touched on lessons that will be taught this month:

Classroom connections:

Lesson: School Success

Interactive activity: Ask students to find organize themselves in groups according to the most difficult school success skills mentioned. A few skills that we will discuss include attendance, organization, asking for helping, focusing/paying attention, perseverance, etc. After they get in groups, ask each of them to find a buddy that is good at the skill that they find difficult and to brainstorm ways that they can work on that skill. Ask them to follow up with their buddy for the next several weeks to see how they are doing and if they need any help.

Lesson: Leadership

White board/sticky note activity:

Ask students to write on the white board or place sticky notes on the board of ways that they can show leadership at school, at home, and in our community. Encourage them to think of unique ways that others may not have already considered.

Lesson: Responsibility

Class discussion: What responsibilities do I have on my own at school (completing work, participating in class, asking for help when needed, not interrupting) and what responsibilities do we share in our classroom? How about our school (walking quietly in the hall, caring for our school garden, keeping our school clean)? What is most difficult for me and how can I improve on this?

Lesson: Character Trait Goals

Writing prompt: ask students to write about their experience of having other people describe them with a character trait. Ask them to write about why they think others thought those character traits described them, how it made them feel, and how they utilize those character traits as strengths at home, school, and in our community.

Posted in School Counseling Program

SEL Bulletin Board

I was running out of creativity this year after finishing my classroom bulletin board as to what I should do for the bulletin board I’m in charge of in the hallway. I decided to alternate between different character traits using the design & fonts provided in this TPT kit! Super kit and the kids love it. You will see some of the things mentioned in my beginning of year PowerPoint in this bulletin board, such as shout-outs and the teacher referral cards.

Posted in School Counseling Program


I wanted to share a few free counseling referral options with you all since this has proved to be the easiest way for me to know which students need to see me.

First, I have an online referral for parents and teachers to use to refer students to me. Of course they also refer via phone calls, emails, etc., but this is an efficient way to gain a variety of information on a student. I used Google Form (SO EASY) to make the referral and then made a QR code.

Here is a copy of my Google Form:

To make the QR code, go to the following website:

Then enter your google form URL in the website, click create QR code, then download or save your code for you to share and add to documents.

In order for students to self-refer, it’s nice to have forms out in a popular hallway so that students can grab one and turn it in. There are many perks to having students fill out these forms, one of the biggest being that it allows you to easily count how much students you saw via self-referral and the note acts as a reminder for you to meet with them. My favorite way to have them turned in is to have a small box (the counselor I interned under used a painted/decorated old cigar box that she attached to the wall using command strips) with a slit in the top for students to stick their notes and a way for you to retrieve the notes each day. You can also have students give the note to their teacher to turn in, but this may deter students who don’t feel comfortable with their teacher.

Here are a few free referral forms that you may use!

Posted in School Counseling Program

Meet The School Counselor

Attached below is a powerpoint page that you may edit to make your own! This is a fun attachment to have on the outside of your door, on your website, or adapted to function as a brochure to share your role with your students, staff, and parents. If you want to develop a QR code to use to develop your own online referral form, start by developing a form with your google account here:!/

Here is an example of my form. Feel free to copy my questions as needed for your survey:

To make the QR code, go to the following website:

Then enter your google form URL in the website, click create QR code, then download or save your code for you to share and add to documents.

To add a Bitmoji to your file, download the Bitmoji app found in the app store on your phone. Next, you will make certain selections, such as eye color and hair style, to develop your Bitmoji character. When you have compeleted your character, you can select certain themes (saying hello, drinking coffee, etc.) to save on your phone, then upload these to drive, email, or whatever way is most convenient for you to then upload to this document.

I hope this help! If you have any questions, submit them in the comment section below!

Meet the School Counselor Editable & Printable

Posted in School Counseling Program

When Counselors Are Expected To Fix All The Problems

Recently a very sweet colleague of mine and I were talking and she shared her frustration with the idea that a number of her co-workers expect school counselors to fix everything and that we aren’t doing enough. To be totally honest, I’m not surprised that many of our co-workers feel this way! If we had a nickel for every time someone asks what exactly it is that school counselors do we would probably have enough to pay for our masters program (another question we are frequently asked. Yes, we do need a masters degree 😉 ). Needless to say, people don’t understand exactly what it is that we do all day because they only see us when we are working directly with their students and we are often spread thin – 1 counselor to several hundred students. One aspect of our counseling program is advocacy, which means that we must be sharing this information with the staff at our school. This is so important, because if they don’t know the small groups that counselors [can] offer, how to refer students to a counselor for individual counseling, why they should refer their students to a counselor for individual counseling, etc. then our ability to make a difference at our school is severely stunted. There are a million and one ways for you to provide this information to the staff at your school (email, staff meetings, website, handout, brochure, etc.), but the only thing that matters is that you’re getting this information out there.

Another important aspect of the “you’re not doing enough” mentality is the culture of your school. If your workplace is a super negative, it’s probably a sign that the culture at your school is breeding negativity. Again, this does not at all surprise me that so many schools are stuck in this negativity hamster wheel. Teachers are expected to sacrifice financially, socially, emotionally, and more to do the best for their students, and yet parents and administration still ask them to do more! I am currently reading the book Awakened by Angela Watson, which is aimed towards teachers but I found this book to be so incredibly helpful and it does a good job touching on this topic. Teachers have their own set of challenges, and I learned early on in my internship experience (Thanks Ashley Price, you’re seriously school counselor goals) that supporting teachers is a huge aspect of supporting our students. For example, if a teacher doesn’t respect or understand your role(s) at your school they are less likely to send students to you for your counseling sessions, or to invite you to parent conferences that you could be really helpful in, or share concerns or information that would be valuable for you to know. These are all activities that are vital to you making a difference in the lives in your students and lead to a more cohesive, supportive environment. Therefore, showing teachers that you are supporting them and on their team will lead to more collaboration and hopefully a more positive school culture as a whole. Leaving an encouraging note for a teacher, leaving a small gift (I have never met a teacher who doesn’t like coffee or chocolate), or complimenting a teacher on her classroom management skills or how she handled a difficult situation goes a long way! I also think that developing relationships with my teachers by stopping in after school to ask them how they are doing really builds up this sort of teammate mentality.

I should point out that it’s a process to prove yourself to your school (as a new counselor, I am certainly still working on this and will take all the help I can get), but your goal shouldn’t be to prove yourself to teachers, but to do what you think will most benefit your students. For example, if a few negative teachers at your school think behavior is the problem and that you should be focusing on that, your focus is providing and referring students with/to mental health support resources (counseling, referrals to community counseling agencies, etc.). This will in theory help with problematic behaviors, but that isn’t necessarily your focus.

Lastly, one things that I think can be really helpful is administering a needs assessment to teachers to find out exactly what needs they see as being a priority because then we can narrow in our focus on those things. I have no doubt that this will allow your teachers to clarify what they need (and see their students as needing) from you and they will certainly notice your attention/response to their feedback. At the beginning of the year I did a google docs assessment, but got very little responses back even after several reminders. I provided a paper version in their mailboxes around December for a mid-year assessment and I had a 100% response rate! This assessment gave me super helpful insight that narrowed my focus in on topics for guidance/SEL, pointed out kids I should be seeing, and provides data to share with my principal and staff. Although Google seems to be so much easier as far as analyzing information goes, this worked best for the teachers at my school and provided me with far more information than I received online. Attached is a downloadable counseling assessment that you may edit and share with the staff at your school. I hope that this information allow you to feel less alone, empowered, and employed with ideas that may help build more cohesion at your school! Please share any additional ideas or feedback you may have below in the comments!