Who is Your School Counselor? Back to School Lesson!

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My supervisor at my elementary school internship used this activity at the beginning of the school year to introduce herself and her role to the students, and she even used it in interviews to show the principal what she could bring to their school! I wanted to use this activity this year, but couldn’t for the life of me remember all of the things that she put inside of the first aid kit. I googled and pinterested and could not find the activity anywhere…until the next day, when I decided to search again, and Savvy School Counselor had posted it 2 hours earlier! Many thanks to her and her ever-creative blog for brushing up my memory on this great activity!

My first aid kit looks very similar to Savvy School Counselor’s and the pieces that I included inside of it are almost identical to her’s. I used a pencil box that I got for .99 cents at Target and taped the label onto it that says “School Counselor’s First Aid Kit.”

Inside of the kit I included the following items… (most of which were already at my school, I just had to find them and put them together!)

  • Tissue: Counselors help you dry your tears when you are feeling sad or overwhelmed. Counselors  remind you that it is okay to cry – letting out our feelings is healthy and helps us heal!
  • Toothpick: Counselors help you “pick out” your problems and make sense of them.
  • Milky Way: Seeing the counselor is always a “treat” – it never means that you are in trouble! Also, just like a treat, counselors can help you feel better when you are sad or upset.
  • Star: Explorers from long ago used the “North Star” as a guide to help them stay on track and  find their way when they were lost. Like the North Star, the counselor can help you if you are feeling lost, confused, or unsure about how to solve a problem.
  • Penny: Pennies have value and are often considered lucky – “Find a penny, pick it up…all day long you’ll have good luck!” The penny reminds us that each and every one of us is valuable, special, and lucky to be who we are!
  • Band-Aid/Bandage: Counselors can help heal your wounds (the invisible ones that are deep inside of us) and make you feel better.
  • Eraser: Everyone makes mistakes and the counselor can help us deal with our feelings when we make mistakes. She can also help us learn how to not make the same mistake again in the future!
  • Life Saver: Counselors are there to talk to you and help “save” you from scary, sad, or stressful situations. Counselors will help you “stay afloat” throughout the school year by giving you support, guidance, and love!
  • Cotton Ball: Counselors are full of warm fuzzies and compliments! Seek us out when you are feeling blue, and we’ll help cheer you up!

Also, I can’t find mine at the moment, but including headphones would be a great idea to remind students that counselors are great listeners.

I included these index cards “cheat sheets” in the inside of the box to help me remember the purpose of each item (just in case I forget!)

I plan on using this kit with K – 2nd graders as a way to introduce the role of the counselor in a fun, easy to understand, and engaging way. I will begin the lesson by asking students what a first aid kit is usually used for. Then, I will open the kit and choose one item at a time. I will pass the item around the room and let students feel it. I will ask students, “What is this item and what is it normally used for?” I will then ask students, “How does this item relate to what a school counselor does?” Once students have answered, I will then give them my explanation for each item.  At the end of the activity, I will ask students to summarize what they have learned with the following questions:

  • “What does a school counselor do?”
  • “How can a school counselor help you?”
  • “What is an example of a time when you might want to talk to the school counselor?”

Next, I will explain to students the self-referral process for counseling. If they would like to talk with me, they should tell their teacher. I will then work with their teacher to set up a time to meet with them as soon as I can. I will also tell students that I will be coming to their classroom once a month to talk about all sorts of important topics, such as how to be a good listener, how to stop bullying, and how to be a good student. We will be playing games, reading stories, and doing art projects together.

My K classes are 30 minutes long, so I will end the lesson here. My 1st- 4th grade lessons are 1 hour, so I will continue the lesson by reading the story Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. We all have bad days sometimes, and it is often helpful to talk to someone who can help us get our feelings out and feel better. I thought that Alexander’s description of his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day is a great example of a time in which students may want to seek the counselor’s help, guidance, and support. Counselors can help turn Alexander’s day into a great, excellent, good, and amazing one! 😉

After reading the story, I will generate the following discussion with students:

  • Why was Alexander having such a bad day? What are some of the things that happened to him today?
  • What could Alexander have done to make his day better?
  • How could the school counselor help Alexander?
  • How could Alexander set up a time to meet with his school counselor?

Finally, I’ll close the lesson by saying that I am looking forward to working with each and every student and am so excited to be starting a new school year!

And…onto the next lesson!

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8 responses »

  1. Pingback: “Meet Your Counselor” Game – Back to School Lesson! « Music City School Counselor

  2. I’m the first year of school counseling and your School Counselor’s
    First Aid Kit is impressed to me . May I use your idea?

    • Hi Angela! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I’m glad that you enjoyed my first aid kit activity! And of course you can use it – this blog is a way to share ideas, and I’m honored that you’d like to try this activity! Best of luck to you!

  3. Love this idea!! Especially how you tied Alexander & the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day into the lesson. I’ve been searching for a book to read on the first day & never thought to use this book, but what a great idea! I can’t wait for the first day 🙂 Thanks!

    • Thanks so much for your sweet comment! Best of luck to you!

      I also used the story, “I am Absolutely Too Small for School” by Lauren Child with my K students. It’s great for learning about starting school for the first time!

  4. Hello Laura,
    This is a fabulous idea! I am so thankful you are sharing it with all of us. I am going to do it too! I moved this year into a new position (from 16 years as a High School Counselor) to starting a new counseling program for 5 of my districts elementary schools. I so appreciate any help with lesson plans for the K-5 age group. If you have any more great ideas, I would love to hear them.

    Kirsten

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