Revised: In good education classrooms teachers understand the value of pre-teaching and re-teaching essential skills for student success. While I am a counselor and not an educator in the general education setting (was for 12 years) I still see the importance of pre-teaching and re-teaching critical skills. Because the mindsets and behaviors of students are started from birth, many students are coming to school today and needing help to gain a healthier set. This is where my small groups become so important. This year as part of the goals set at the beginning I will run groups that are based on school attendance and growth mindset. This decision was based on the needs of students who were brought to RTI, students who were missing 1000 minutes of instruction time, and teacher/parent request. To accompany that I will also have groups focused on decreasing anxiety in school, anger management and coping with changes. These groups were selected as they are the ones with students who have the highest needs. These are my students who spend more time out of class trying to "reset" so they can return to class. These are my students who have behaviors that escalate to avoid certain educational tasks. My goal is to help them so they can spend a majority of their day in the classroom. These students are also why I took the AutPlay Therapy Class. I needed more skills to give them in small group.
I will complete all the small group activities as I am the only counselor in our school.
To be able to have this time the first thing I have to do is make sure that I have a good working calendar and schedule. This allows me to know I am not missing anything when I have 700 plus students. The second thing I need are lesson plans for the groups. These lessons are based on goals for the school that are supported by the needs of the students. These lessons are based on various student population needs and supported by the data. When thinking of these specific students and their needs I collaborated with a mentor counselor in the district and she helped me with the development of the lessons from curriculum that she has used. For the actual lesson plans I need paper for activity sheets, paper, chart paper, markers, pencils, crayons, various visual aids, growth mindset task cards, bubbles, balloons, sand trays, magnets, technology sources, squigz, actions plans, coping strategies, and surveys for assessment.
I will use the surveys for direct student input of the effectiveness of the lessons. I will also use the time I have too meet with students informally to hear from them how things are going and if they are using the tools they developed and practiced in our small groups. I will use the data from Infinite Campus to track attendance and grades.
As I have continued to improve my ability to be effective by analyzing and assessing what I do I feel that I am better today than yesterday. But the essential question is where can I get to tomorrow. So I would like to take this information and organize it in a way that I can keep continuing and watch students grow over time. Many of our students at Lakevue are part of a migrant population who come and go from the school. I would like to make the next step a way to help them with transitions in and out of Lakevue and a way to measure growth from a new "support". Also, after attending one of the classes at ASCA in July I want to adjust some of the group intervals for next year. Research showed that groups could be run on a 4 day intervention; students see the counselor for 2 days in a row for a lesson, then get 2 days of practice, then 2 more lessons. I want to try this new setup next year with the anger management group first to see if the intensive intervention lessons and practice have a better difference for students.