Let’s be real: group counseling can be really hard. No matter how carefully you build the group membership and plan lessons and activities, sometimes things do not go as expected. Here are some ideas that I have found to be most helpful:
Think carefully about whether the group members are actually ready to be able to be in a group. Sometimes kids need some “pre-teaching” about things like how to listen, take turns, or manage their personal space. They may need a chance to Continue reading
The kids at my school are generally pretty accepting and understanding about their classmates’ learning differences and disabilities. They offer to help when appropriate, and are good about including others. They know the names of all the kids with significant disabilities, greet them in the hall and their classrooms, and some even volunteer to work with them. We spend a lot of time talking about how everyone learns differently, that we all have things that make us different, and that none of us likes to be picked on or excluded. They are usually patient about disruptive behaviors, especially if the student’s disability is obvious and/or a paraprofessional works with the student.
The difficulty comes when a not-so-obvious disability is combined with repetitive, disruptive or annoying behaviors Continue reading
I am just as happy as the next person to be completely prepared well in advance of all groups, classes, individual sessions, presentations, meetings, etc., with copies made, technology tested, and materials arranged. However, the reality of school counseling means that sometimes planning and prep have to happen on the fly. Perhaps an issue has arisen in a particular classroom or grade, and you have to go in to address it on a minute’s notice. Or you find out that an assembly was scheduled without you knowing it and you have to move a class or group to an earlier time. Or a kid is on her way after being asked to leave class because of some behavior that is getting in the way of others’ learning. Yikes! This calls for Guerilla Planning! Guerilla????