One of the first things I like to do each school year is a “Meet the Counselor” lesson to introduce myself to students. This is super important for new school counselors, but even if you’ve been at your school a few years an introductory lesson is still a nice refresher.
Presenting a “Meet the Counselor” lesson achieves 3 things:
Advocates for your role as a school counselor so it is very clear what duties you are and are not supposed to do.
Helps all students get to know you in a fun, positive way. This sets a good foundation instead of the first time someone meets you is during a crisis.
Shows the students how the monthly counseling lessons will look.
How to Teach a “Meet the Counselor” Lesson
Schedule a time to come into each classroom during the first couple weeks of school and decide which type of lesson you want to do. I have two that I like to use. One is a no-prep PowerPoint game show and the other one involves some prep time but it is an interactive escape-room style activity.
Jeopardy style game shows are so much fun! I remember loving them when I was in school. To play, divide the class into teams and then have students choose different number amounts to select a true or false question about the role of the counselor. The team with the most points at the end wins! You can use PowerPoint to create a game show on your own, or you can snag mine here.
This lesson is great for being: no-prep and editable
When I saw that escape room style activities were becoming big at schools I knew I wanted to make a “meet the counselor” one. Mission: Meet the Counselor has students solve 5 missions to determine the role of the counselor. Students have to demonstrate understanding through a variety of ways while working collaboratively in a group. You can come up with your own mission for students to complete or check out mine here.
This lesson is great for being: highly interactive and a memorable activity
Know your audience and decide which lesson works best for their needs. I plan on using both this year depending on the class.
How to Make a “Meet the Counselor” Lesson Age Appropriate
Part of knowing your audience is knowing their age, attention level, and how much time you have with them. Both of these lessons are great for 2nd grade and up. The game show is editable so you can truly tailor it to fit varying student needs. In Mission: Meet the Counselor, three of the missions are open-ended such as acting, drawing, and writing examples of the role of the school counselor. You can even use these in a middle or high school setting!
Lesson Ideas for K-1st Grade
Both of these lessons may be a bit too challenging for our littlest learners so I like to do something more simple with them. Using a Mr. Potatohead or photo booth props of eyes, ears, heart, and hands is a great visual way to show that school counselors do the following:
Eyes: See what makes students special
Ears: Listen when you need to talk
Heart: Care about your feelings
Hands: Help you solve problems
How to Present Your Role to Staff
Hopefully your staff has a clear idea of what you do and super appreciates you already, but like the students, they too can use a reminder. They may be underutilizing your services or unsure on how to refer students to see you. Play a fun game to share facts about your position. But don't feel like you have to reinvent the wheel. Because the Meet the Counselor Game Show is editable, you can easily create a staff version too. Since some people likely already know the answer you can use open-ended questions along with true or false.
Try subbing in these types of questions:
How do you refer students to see the counselor?
Where can you get a counseling permission slip?
Where can you find the needs-assessment?
This is an effective way to share information but way more fun and memorable than an email!
Are you ready to give a “Meet the Counselor” lesson a try?
Make a memorable first impression while sharing all the many ways you support students with one of these lessons. Create your own or save time and download the Meet the Counselor Game Show and Mission:Meet the Counselor lessons here.
Comment and share below with how you introduce yourself to students and staff!