Category Archives: school counselors

4 ways to teach your best lessons

Take a trip back in time with me and visualize your most memorable teacher.  Maybe it was the one who inspired you to be an educator.  Maybe it was someone who encouraged you in a subject area that you were challenged in.  Maybe it was someone who recognized a gift that you had.  For me it was a teacher in middle school (I’ve long forgotten her name)  who encouraged me to write.  She taught English, always a favorite subject of mine anyway, but she assigned writing topics and through her comments helped me recognized a gift that I had.  At the time, my grandfather was writing a column for the local newspaper and I sent him some of the work I produced in that class, which he proudly published.

In this day of data and research driven lesson plans, it is sometimes  easy to lose the heart of teaching.  Even school counselors who deliver classroom lessons on character education and mindfulness often get lost in prescribed lessons and collecting data on behavior changes.  What can we do to create lessons that capture and inspire students?

Here are four teaching suggestions:

Get personal:  As a student don’t you remember how much you enjoyed those stories that teachers shared from their personal lives and experiences?  Sometimes it made the material come to life.  Sometimes it gave you insight into them as a real person with a family and outside interests.  Sometimes it helped you understand a mission or passion they had.  Keep the shared experiences relevant to the topic at hand but put some of yourself into the mix.

Get relevant:  Students are engaged when they see how the material relates to their lives.  I remember a teacher I was observing in a math class who was teaching problem-solving through word problems that she made up which were practical as well a  bit humorous.  I was so entertained that I had a hard a hard time remembering to observe the student I was there for.

Get inspirational:  Use your material to inspire students to change the world and to be the best they can be.  Every lesson no matter the topic has a personal application and a history.  Share your personal desire for a peaceful world, saving endangered species or finding a cure for cancer. Help students to visualize a future that is better because of their focus and effort.

Get innovative:  While it is easy to fall back year after year on the same tired lessons, challenge yourself to add something new and innovative each year.  Your dedication to being a lifelong learner yourself will transfer the same enthusiasm to your students.

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7 secrets to positive teacher parent communication

 Wyatt Goes to Kindergarten

Wyatt has never liked change, at least not at first.  Once he tries something new, he usually finds he really likes it.  Now that he is about to begin kindergarten, Wyatt is really worried.  Will he make friends?  Will he get lost in the new school?  Will he miss his mom?  Join Wyatt in his latest “wonder-full” adventure! Wyatt-kKindergarten_thumb
Wyatt the Wonder Dog: Goes to Kindergarten

 

12 Grab N’ Go Lesson Plans for School Counselors

DISCover Your Personality Style

Good counselors and educators do things well.

Great counselors teach and inspire others to do things well.

This month I was at the Kentucky School Counselor Conference in Lexington, Kentucky (shout out to all the GREAT counselors that I met there), where I taught a session on understanding personality style and working in your strengths. One of the advantages of training counselors in DISC personality is the enthusiasm that they bring to the session.  DISC training adds an innovative and creative tool to the counselor toolbox.

Not familiar with DISC personality training?  Here are the basics:

The Four Basic Personality Styles

According to the DISC personality program, there are four basic personality styles.  We are all blends of these.  Here are the characteristics of each.:

D:  dominant, determined, decisive

I:  interactive, inspiring, influential

S:  stable, sweet, supportive

C:  competent, cautious, conscientious

Why DISC works

There are several reasons why the DISC is a good fit for anyone working with children.  Here are some of the reasons that as a certified DISC trainer, I love sharing this with counselors, educators and parents.

  • DISC is a great tool because it is easy to understand.  This means that counselors can quickly learn the basic four personality styles and share them with parents, students and educators on their team.  Unlike some personality assessments that take the equivalent of a college degree to understand, DISC can be taught in a quick one time session.
  • DISC is a great tool because it is practical and immediately applicable.  Most participants in my sessions not only quickly understand how it works but they begin sharing insights about themselves and other participants while we are still in the session.  They also gain insight into interactions with coworkers, family members and friends.
  • DISC is a great tool because it transforms relationships.  When you learn the personality styles, you don’t just understand yourself better, you also begin to understand and celebrate all the other personality styles around you.  It helps you encourage leadership traits (which show up differently for the different styles) and you learn how to motivate each different style by working in their unique strengths and interests.

If you aren’t familiar with DISC personality assessment, I hope I’ve piqued your curiosity.  Similar to the growth mindset work that Carol Dweck has done, DISC encourages an openness to learning from failure as well as success.  It celebrates our differences and encourages us to focus on and develop our strengths.

Interested in learning more about your personality style?  You can take an online assessment on this website.  I’ll even do an interpretation for you to help you make sense of the information.  Check out the sidebar on wyatthewonderdog.com for more information.

Want to learn how understanding personality can transform your perspective and relationships?  Check out these additional articles on DISC and children:

Personality Style and Motivation

Celebrate Your Child’s Unique Voice

Parenting and Teaching the High Energy Child

 

Parenting with Heart: Understanding your Child’s Personality Style

Do you sometimes feel that your children are speaking a different language?  Do you wonder how to motivate and inspire them?  In this ebook you will D-I-S-Cover your own personality style and how to speak the language of other personality styles to create a winning  environment in all the seasons of your family’s life. parentingheart Click on the link below to purchase the ebook: Parenting with Heart: Understanding Personality Style

Teaching with Heart:  Understanding Personality Style

Do you sometimes feel that students at your school are speaking a different language?  Do you wonder how to motivate and inspire them?  In this ebook you will D-I-S-Cover your own personality style and learn to work in the strengths of each personality by recognizing the secret fuel and environmental needs for each.  Understanding the personality styles of students can revolutionize how you interact and lead in the classroom! teachingdiscover

 Click on the link below to purchase the ebook:

Teaching with Heart: Understanding Personality Styles

 

Interested in having a DISC training come to your school?  Get more information here:
http://www.dreamachievercoach.com/dream-academy-educator-training/

 

Characteristics of a great counselor

 

I was recently at a luncheon talking with some elementary school principals about school counselors and an evaluation method they are required to complete yearly on school counselors.  The instrument was so complex that they had to attend special training  to learn to use it properly. The evaluation emphasized collecting data in order to  prove the impact and success of the counselor.  One principal commented, “There is so much stress on data collection, the counselor can’t do her job.”

Has technology and data collection taken the heart out of the school counseling system?

In a recent article in Edutopia the question was asked,  What does it mean to be a great teacher?  Interestingly enough, excels at collecting data or has great test scores was not even on the list. While the six characteristics that were listed might be hard to quantify, they are definitely at the heart of teaching.  I’ve modified it a bit for counselors.

Six characteristics of a great counselor

A great counselor is kind–  Modeling and teaching kindness is an important part of every lesson and interaction for the school counselor.  Many counselors encourage random acts of kindness and encourage students to look for opportunities to pay it forward.

A great counselor is compassionate– Counselors are often called to love those students most difficult to understand and love.  Counselors take the time to understand the story behind the behavior and show compassion despite the difficulties.

A great counselor is empathetic– Counselors not only walk in a student’s shoes,  they often carry students when they can’t walk on their own. Counselors are a shoulder to cry on and a hand to lift you up when you are down.

A great counselor is positive-While they don’t ignore the challenges, counselors see what is possible for every student and share that vision with them. They are great encouragers and often believe in students when they don’t yet believe in themselves

A great counselor is a builder– Counselors equip children for the future.  They don’t leave them where they find them but they teach them the tools for becoming the best they can be.  Counselors are relationship builders.  They build relationships among students and adults without regard for age or  status. They model for others the importance of relationships and  how to create positive relationships in their own lives.

A great counselor is inspiring- Counselors inspire with their lessons and their words but they also inspire with their actions.  Counselors give direction to students’s lives and provide the necessary guidance needed to achieve goals that seem impossible.

What would you add as a quality of a great counselor?

 

Related Posts:

Joyful Parenting

Top 3 Mistakes Educators Make

5 Steps to Growing a Confident Child

 

Wyatt’s Little Book of Lesson Plans, Worksheets and Games

Just for you!  Here are activities, lesson plans, discussion questions, coloring sheets, word search puzzles and games for each of the six Wyatt the Wonder Dog Books. A treasure trove of grab ‘n go lessons on cooperation, teamwork and leadership skills to quickly extend and incorporate the Wyatt stories.

 

http://wyatthewonderdog.com/activitybook