Here are my thoughts about why school counselors should spend precious time creating visually appealing and stimulating bulletin boards -
If your school offers you the opportunity to have a bulletin board (or two) for the counseling program see this as part of the counseling program public relations inside the building. Bulletin boards can educate students, teachers, support staff, parents, and visitors about the counseling program. A colleague and I presented at VSCA and wrote an article titled “If I have to tell one more person what the school counselor does, I’m going to scream!” It still surprises me how many people do not understand our role, but I have accepted it is part of my job to inform the public about the counseling program. Bulletin Boards can:
a) highlight topics taught in classroom instructions;
b) student work completed as part of these lessons can be displayed as evidence students learned key concepts;
c) enhance instruction and serve as review opportunities and reinforcement;
d) highlight the role of the counselors and other key staff;
e) teach key concepts (e.g., career paths);
f) allow individuals to reflect on and respond to questions (can be interactive);
h) highlight important events and celebrate special weeks important to the mission of the school counseling program.
I am not artistic myself but there are several staff in my school who are really creative and have mastered the art of bulletin boards. I always consult with one of them in planning my bulletin boards. Sometimes I have a great concept but I am not always successful in getting the wow factor a bulletin board needs to convince me to save it and reuse in 2-3 years. I have a few that have received rave reviews that are worth the space they take to save. My favorite bulletin boards are the ones that highlight a lesson taught in the classroom. I post a brief description of the lesson next to the display. I think this type of board reinforces that counseling is a program with objectives and standards just like any other part of the curriculum that is delivered to all students. I try to highlight one lesson from each grade level sometime during the school year. Many of my bulletin boards have been based on children’s books. I have 2 bulletin boards for the counseling program and sometimes I am lucky and my school psychologist or part-time counselor will take a month.
If you have any good ideas that have worked in your school, please leave a comment.