Counsel like a Rockstar


As counselors, we dream of spending our days in meaningful small group sessions with students, of preparing testing seasons without hiccups, and of building a happy and successful environment on campus for both staff and students. In other words, we dream of being ROCKSTAR counselors! We start the year off with these big dreams, but by Christmas break we sometimes feel like the semester has been a nightmare. Motivational speaker Greg Reid once said, “A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.”

I absolutely love that quote, because it is a guide to those who need help turning their dreams into reality.

Now that the school year has started, you probably have a better understanding of what the role of a counselor looks like at your campus for this particular year (we all know that this changes from year to year). In order to be the ROCKSTAR counselor you’ve always wanted to be, you must now set realistic and specific goals that will promote success on your campus. You’ll need to find that massive to-do list that you have strategically placed somewhere on your desk.

No need to lie, we are among friends here. You have a list somewhere. We all do.

Found it? Good! Choose one item, and let’s turn it into a reality using this S.M.A.R.T. goal template.

What’s your dream? Do you want to create small-group counseling sessions that meet regularly? To build a more positive school climate? Maybe you’d like to boost college and career readiness. Those are all admirable dreams which will benefit from the method I’ve outlined here. We’ll use building a positive school climate as our example. Here are 3 steps to more effective goal setting: 

Step 1: A dream written down with a DATE becomes a GOAL.

  • Look at your district/campus calendar so that you are aware of what days are already booked.
  • Schedule monthly spirit days that relate to your campus theme.  
  • Ask to speak with teachers during an upcoming staff meeting so that you can encourage them to utilize the counseling department to better serve students.
  • Work with teachers to schedule a time you can come into the classroom to introduce yourself and educate them on how you can provide support. Check this out if you are interested in help with providing guidance in the classroom. 

Step 2: A goal broken down into STEPS becomes a PLAN.

  • Work with campus organizations, such as student council, to promote monthly spirit days. Posters, videos, or morning announcements may be a great way to create some buzz.
  • Strengthen the connections you have created with staff members during your meetings by respecting their time. Share with them ways that you can add value to your campus and ask them to share concerns or needs they are aware of at the present time.Make sure your presentation is uplifting, useful, and easy to execute.  It wouldn’t hurt to throw in some humor and snacks, of course.
  • Conduct a needs assessment with students so that you can more efficiently plan classroom guidance lessons, student assemblies, or guest speakers. Take a look at the TEEN TRUTH programs, they have helped me greatly.

Step 3: A plan backed by ACTION makes your dreams come TRUE.

  • Participate in all spirit days and attempt to be the “cheerleader” for students and staff by promoting positivity throughout the campus.
  • Continue to be a presence in staff meetings so that you can keep a “pulse” on morale and the fluctuating needs of your school.
  • Engage with students as you present guidance lessons and make sure they are always aware of how to seek assistance.

When it comes to turning your counseling dreams into reality, just take the three steps above, (then repeat as needed). As any ROCKSTAR knows, things don’t always go as planned. Dates may need to be changed, and not everyone will be as receptive of our guidance as we envision in our minds. The key is to create a plan of action and be willing to “go with the flow.” On with the show, counseling ROCKSTARS!

Here’s a free lesson on goal-setting/action plans you can use with students or staff.

Penny Knight
School Counselor, TEEN TRUTH

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