Well, the purpose of my blog is to share ideas--knowing that they aren't the best ideas, but they work and they are worth sharing. My intention is to create a space for elementary school counselors to be inspired to create, learn, and share with others so we can all improve our elementary school counseling programs.
I will freely share resources that I have created and I welcome other counselors to comment with suggestions to improve, tweak, and adapt in other ways.
My first freebie is a simple, yet helpful resource to use in sharing with our administrators the students we are working with and how we are making a difference with them. I find it helpful to review it regularly so I can follow-up with students who I haven't seen in a while.
Why use an Individual Counseling Sessions Data Log?
- Document the students we counsel.
- Have an organized list to show administrators our caseload.
- To record our impact and effectiveness with students.
- Helpful reminder of students we want to follow-up with and check on their progress.
This document keeps it very simple to record the impact that we can have with students. Simply record a Pre and a Post rating for the student on a scale from 0-10, where 0 = "feeling terrible" and 10 = "feeling terrific." At the beginning of the session, I may simply ask the student to use a number to describe his/her overall feeling and then follow-up at the end of our session to see if there is a difference. Sometimes it is not appropriate to ask a student for a rating at the beginning of a session. At these times, I ask how they are feeling at the end of the session and then ask them to reflect on how they felt when they first came in.
I feel that it's important to give students the credit for any improvements in their feelings. They had the courage to address and share something that was difficult. Ask students specifically, "What was it that helped you go from a 0 to a 6? What do you want to remember so you can use it in the future when you're feeling a 0 again?"
Write down their comments or give them an index card so they can write it down for their self.
When students say that they felt a 0 at the beginning, I know that I can only go UP from there!
Every once in a while, a student may say that he/she doesn't feel any better. If I'm still unable to help the student have a breakthrough, I may ask if there's someone else at school or at home that they could talk with and then I help them arrange a time to meet with them.
It's important to follow-up with these students to find out:
- Did you have the conversation? If not, when is another time to talk to him/her?
- What was it that helped? If not, who is another person who may help?
- Write down what they want to remember for times in the future when they feel "stuck."