Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Why School Counselors Need Lesson Plans!!!!!

The other day I asked the counselors in my division if anyone had any bullying prevention lesson plans they used in addition to the ones associated with our school board approved action plan. I received about a dozen responses and of the 12, only half sent me lessons plans in a response email. UGH!!! and GRRRRR!!! Some of these are the same school counselors who get a hard time from their principals. Wonder why? School counselors!!! I am here to tell you as someone from the district level...you NEED lesson plans! I cannot stress this enough. A lack of lesson plans does not help our cause. We cannot advocate for ourselves if you are not playing the game. It does not make us look like the serious, master degreed, contributors to education that we are. Lesson plans validate what we do. It sends a message to administrators and other teachers that our lessons support instruction. Yes, we are counselors, but we are also educators. We live in Rome and therefore...we do what Romans do! You would never catch a teacher without lesson plans. Why should we be any different when it comes to classroom guidance and small groups? We cannot afford to perform "random acts of guidance", as Pat Martin (NOSCA) says. Gone are the days of I like this book or activity...so let me do it. What is your lesson supporting? What is your lesson tying into? What is your lesson helping to prepare children for? 

Your school counseling lessons should at least:

  • Support your state school counseling standards
  • Support your state testing/curriculum standards
  • Support any other themed model that your school or district is using (Habits of the Mind, 7 Habits, Character Ed, etc.)
  • Support ASCA standards
Your lessons should also have some type of assessment tied to it. How do you know if the children learned anything from your lesson, if you don't check? 

If you need help...email me! I am here to help all counselors be extraordinary!



  1. We use them in my district at the K-5 level and follow ASCA and our state guidelines. As schools embrace Common Core State Standards counselors must standardize what we do across buildings and school districts and states. This has been the focus of our Professional Learning Community(PLC) meetings the past year and will be this year as well.

  2. Totally agree. It gives us instant credibility and forges a strong alliance with the Teachers and the Administrators. We have started using student cell phone responses (just like in a college course) during and at the conclusion the lessons and the kids love it. It also provides a great data source to validate student growth.

  3. I agree with you on lesson plans. They are great to share and they help me remember from year to year all the things I did in a particular lesson. That's one reason I create lesson plans for all the children's books that I write!

  4. Wonderful to hear! Thank you for your comments.