3 Great Ways to Support Students Over Summer
Before I begin this blog, let’s take a moment to bask in the glory of another school year in the books. You have no doubt made a difference in the lives of those you support. Kudos to you for providing guidance, advocating for those who needed a voice, making it through testing season, transitioning students to a new grade level or into the real world, the list goes on and on.
The month of June is the time of year when counselors can take it down a notch now that students are gone for the summer and reflect upon your program as a whole. What went well and will stay in rotation for next year? What proved ineffective and will be filed away as “live and learn”? This month is the perfect time for analyzing and adjusting while it’s still fresh on your mind.
At this point, most people would turn in their keys, head for the pool, and leave school behind until convocation in August. But you aren’t most people, you are counselors and your heart for kids doesn’t have an off/on switch. You worry about those students who are food insecure, who have been “couchsurfing” all year, or who may even be dealing with abuse or addiction. During the school year you and your campus may have been the safe haven for those students. Your counselor heart may be wondering, “who will help them this summer?” If you are practicing self-care you will take a moment to realize that you must take time for yourself and take comfort in the fact that you were there when you were needed.
If you struggle with this here are 3 simple ways to provide support to students during the summer months:
The power of social media is strong. Although you may have dealt with the negative effects of social media use this year in regards to how teenagers misuse it, social media can be an extremely useful tool. Harness the power of your campus/district social media and share resources, such as, local food pantries, low-cost health fairs, or county advocacy and crisis centers. A quick share or post has the ability reach hundreds or thousands with a simple click.
Beef Up Your Website
In the chaos of the year, maintaining your school website may fall pretty low on the priority list. When parents or students need you they simply call the school and have easy access during the year. During summer break they will not have that option so it may be wise to stock your website with helpful links and resources. Including community resource links, videos on summer safety and self-care, and information regarding preparing for the next school year can be invaluable to those who don’t have access to a counselor throughout the summer.
Never Stop Learning
While keeping in my mind you must unwind and relax in order to restore your frazzled counselor heart and brain, learning new ideas can be reinvigorating. Just keep it casual. Read a book while laying by the pool. CLICK HERE for two inspiring books written by TEEN TRUTH’s CEO, JC Pohl. Network with those you meet to find some dynamic community speakers who can visit your campus next year. Interact with other counselors, in person or online, to share ideas and resources. Peruse counselor blogs while riding in the car on a road trip. Feel free to check out the News and Insight section on our TEEN TRUTH website.
As you wind down and wrap up this school year remember to pat yourself on the back for a job well done, take time for yourself, enjoy your well-deserved break, and take comfort in the fact that the guidance and resources you provided as a counselor helped countless students, parents, and staff. “The influence of a great counselor can never be erased”.
Happy summer break to you all!
CLICK HERE for a free lesson to use at the beginning of school in August.
School Counselor, TEEN TRUTH