Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Even I'm Doing More with Technology! But There's a Lesson to This Post...

This year, I decided that I would try to simplify my life and use Google Docs for my classroom observations, opposed to hand writing all of them. Part of my job is to observe the school counselors at the 85 schools in my division. I offer feedback as it relates to instruction, assessment and management of students during the school counseling classroom lessons. 

Here is what I look for:

Instruction - Are you prepared? Lesson plan? Opening? Closing? Is it relevant? Easy to follow? Applicable to the grade level or what you deem as the topic?

Assessment - How do you know if the students understood what you just taught? Are you checking for understanding? What formative assessment are you using?

Management - Are the students on task? Engaged? Can you re-direct? Are you calling on all students? Remember, just because students are compliant doesn't mean that they are learning...or that your lesson is effective

Classroom lessons should be thought out, planned and support your program and school's initiatives. No RANDOM ACTS OF GUIDANCE....as Pat Martin (NOSCA) would say! That means don't continue lessons because you like them, or because you are comfortable with them and have been doing them for years. 

True Story: There once was a school counselor who worked for my division. Every lesson consisted of them bringing a keyboard into the classroom, playing a song and having the students sing along. SAY WHAT?! I have no idea what their program was about, how the lessons were relevant. They never provided me with any documentation...no lesson plans, no annual calendar, no data reports...NADA! One day the principal wanted to know what they could do to increase scores in their building. I stated, "by not letting your school counselor play the keyboard for his lessons."  CRICKETS!!!! The principal quickly redirected the conversation. Luckily, that school counselor retired and they have a much more contemporary one in their place.

Continue to be Extraordinary, People! Don't be the keyboard pushing, song singing, no lesson plan having school counselor! YUCK!



  1. Thank you so much for this post! The district I am in has no counseling department head, so direction as to what "good counseling" lessons should be like doesn't exist. I'm certain we have counselors all over the board on how information and skills are being delivered I have made an effort to shore up my attention-getting signals and classroom management, am beginning to do formal assessment (starting small and building from there) and make professional classroom guidance lessons plans....so this post was a nice confirmation that I am heading in the right direction. There is still work for me to do, but I don't play the keyboard and sing for my entire lesson so thumbs up for me! :)

    1. Hi Tanya. I am so glad that I could help you. Please call on me if you should need anything else.

  2. Interesting, but I'm not sure what it has to do with technology or google docs.

  3. I have always wondered, does a school counselor require different schooling than any other counselor? To me, they seem completely different. But who knows, I don't know much about this subject. http://www.parkcenter.org/adult_services.htm