Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Start of the School Year Is All About Building Relationships

Like most school counselors I spent preservice week and the first two weeks of the school year building relationships.  We have over 20 new staff members who are professional educators, but do not know our learning community.  I try to reach out to 2-3 of them each day so I can establish a positive relationship.  We have 40 new students in grades 1-5 and over 100 new kindergarten students.  We did orientations for the new students and followed up through a bingo activity (find 5 staff members then bring Bingo card back to me for a prize).  This week we will be doing follow-up lunches with the new students.  I have been spending any free block of 15 minutes in one of the kindergarten rooms to learn names.  I hate going into a class to teach when I don't know everyone's names.  It helps because each teacher takes a class picture and labels the students for the administrators and counselors.  I look at the class pictures before I go into classes to teach the first few months of school. My part-time counselor does the 6 first grade classes and those teachers which leaves me with 600 students and more staff than I want to think about. As school counselors we need to be approachable to students, staff, and parents to be effective.

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