1. Ask Me About it: Conversation Starters
I decided to create conversation cards for my students to take home if they came in for a visit. This was after they expressed wanting to talk with their parents (i.e. bad day at school, someone took their favorite pencil, their friend doesn't like them, etc.). Things that might seem small to us but are big things to our students, and actually help us as counselor's build relationship with our student. I also used these as another means of communication if I did not have a working phone number or tired several times to get ahold of a parent. I was also teaching my students to be leaders and start conversations with the people that care about them. I found that these were helpful for my students who have a disability or who needed encouragement to express their feelings. Document is attached to the bottom of this post.
2. Ditch the Counselor Letter
Yes, I said it. Stop wasting your time on a formal letter. It's boring and I'm betting only 40-50% of your letters are getting read. There is so much information that goes home in the first week of school. Parents are crazy busy filling out forms for the school office and items for their child's teacher. Instead create a visually appealing introduction card. You could use online services such as vista print to create postcard size handout or you can use google drawings. I ended up using this my third year has a counselor. It was quick and easy to make. I also linked my QR code so parents could access my website. I attached the document to the bottom of this post but did edit out some information but you get the idea. I encourage you to explore google drawing which is in google drive within your google (gmail) account. I have found it very easy to use and I been able to create a lot of useful things.
3. Put a Face with a Name:
I am kicking myself for not having my face on my school counselor business card. I think I would used them more and they would have been more helpful. I ended up making cards for my LLC on Vista print after finding a template I liked that allowed me to drag and drop my picture. You could even combine this idea with the welcome card. Which is kind of what I did by putting my motto and QR code on the back of my card that I am using for my LLC. I have also included my card for you to see.
I hope this helps to get your creative juices going. Enjoy the new school year.
Here are the attached examples of everything I've mentioned in this post: