National School Counseling Week is coming up once again (February 1-5!), and it’s time to prepare to promote your School Counseling program! The American School Counseling Association is using the theme “Recipe for Success” this year. I have used similar themes for other programs, especially around Christmastime, so I’m going in a different direction this year. Since NSCW is right before Valentine’s Day, I’ve cooked up some Valentine’s-themed items to promote my program! A few things that I do during the week include:
1. Posters – easiest way to get eyes on your program! Bright, vibrant colors with short, to-the-point slogans get people noticing your posters and place your program on their brains!
2. Certificates of Appreciation – I love whipping up some certificates to let people in the building know that I appreciate the ways they support my program! I like to let that special teacher who always welcomes me for classroom guidance lessons, the principal who always saves time for me at parent meetings, and the parents who selflessly give up time to stuff folders and cut paper crafts! They’re also great for stand-out students who have made big leaps in character development or volunteer to be peer mediators. It’s just an little reminder that I appreciate everything that all these people are doing to make the school counseling program great!
3. School Counselor Role Handouts – How many times are you asked to do something that is waaay outside of your professional role as a counselor? All the time? Of course. No wonder so many people are confused about our roles! It doesn’t help that we’ve changed our professional name too 🙂 Handouts written in student-friendly language are a great way to let your students know what it is that you actually do!
4. Bookmarks – I don’t know about your students, but mine LOVE to get bookmarks! I always like to make a little bookmark that is in line with my theme to give to the kiddos. Bonus: it encourages reading too! Depending on what my week looks like, I sometimes print them in black/white and let the students color them during a guidance lesson and them laminate them for them.
5. I Love Being Your School Counselor Because… This is one of my favorite things to do. I like for all of the counselors in the building to create a poster stating “I love being your School Counselor because…” and take pictures holding the posters. These make great photos for program websites. They also look great in the hallway!
6. School Counselors Are… This is a fun little activity to do during classroom guidance. I give my students a little handout stating, “School Counselors are…” I love to see what they come up with! These look great in the hallway during the month too.
7. Parent Fliers – Parents love to be kept in the loop, so I always send home a flier with an update on my ongoing programs, new groups I’ll be running, and reminders about program events. Remember to include your contact info!
8. School Counseling Night – Time permitting, a School Counseling Night can be so successful in adding more stakeholders. Hosting one of these nights can be as simple as an open forum or a professional presentation on all of your ongoing programs. Parents love to hear about what students are learning in classroom guidance lessons, counseling groups, and individual student planning opportunities. It’s also a GREAT time to recruit for future Career Day events!!
9. Counselor’s Coffee – If a School Counseling Night is a little too large-scale for your operation, a Counselor’s Coffee can bring great results too. I host these from time to time and invite parents to come in for coffee and muffins. This is a little more informal and still a great way to discuss ongoing programs and recruit help! Many parents will be left out of this opportunity since it is during traditional working hours, so I really do prefer to have a night time event when possible!
For quick-and-easy free resources for your National School Counseling Week, check out my Teachers Pay Teachers store! I’ve got free Hollywood, Valentine’s Day, and Recipe for Success theme packets! I’d love to see pictures of any of the items in your school!
What other ways do you promote your school counseling program? I’m always looking for new ideas!