Saturday, September 1, 2012

School Counseling Introduction - Get the Word Out

To run an effective school counseling program, people need to know the who, what, where, and how of the services we have to offer. It is easy to fall into the trap of assuming that people know about our programs. This is not always the case. Heck, in some situations parents may not even realize that there are counseling services in their child's school.

Given the current financial crunch our schools our facing, it is increasingly more important that our presence is felt in the school environment. Letting parents and teachers know what services we provide and how to access those services is a crucial step in strengthening your counseling program.
Maybe being a school counselor is old hat to you…but don't fall into the trap of thinking that all teachers remember from one year to the next (or several years down the road) what kinds of services your provide.

The truth of the matter is that teachers that have had several of the students on your caseload will be far more familiar with how you can help them and their students than a teacher who has had less students on your caseload. In addition, new teachers or transfers may be "working the kinks out" their first year and may need to have a handy reference to access your help when it is needed.

The problem of being an "unknown" resource is further complicated when you are split between three buildings. It is even a bigger mess when you start mid-year (as I did in 2006). Yikes!

You know the old saying: You don't know what you have, until it's gone? Well, parents and teachers won't have to experience that feeling if you proactively advertise your services.

Informing others of what you do transforms your role into more than just someone who helps students; you become a valuable resource that makes the lives of teachers, administrators, and parents easier.

To help "get the word out" about my counseling program, I created an overview of my program into an easy to read brochure for teachers and parents.

After I printed them out, I delivered them in person to each of my 48 teachers. Hand delivering them is a nice touch as it shows that you are willing to work at helping them and their classroom. (Plus I find that it is really nice to personally know everyone that works in your building!)
If the image below does not show, click "previous page" inside the viewer or click the download link to be taken to the google doc.

I tweaked the brochure to remove my schools' info but I left my schedule and a few other things in case you wanted to check it out a bit. I included the link to the Publisher file so you can just plug in your info & print up a few of these to support your program.
I hope you find the brochure helpful! I would love to hear from you. How do you promote your counseling program?


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