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Friday, September 12, 2014

Quick Meetings

Three weeks into school and I am feeling quite accomplished! As of yesterday, I have officially met individually with every single student in the school! The information and responses that I received from my meetings with the students will really help me design the school counseling program at my school. Similar to School Counselor Blog's Minute Meetings, my Quick Meetings are just a bit more involved, lasting about 5 minutes per student K-10, and about 15 minutes for 11th and 12th graders. Having done the 1 minute meetings at my internship, and now having completed the 5-minute meetings at my school, there are definitely benefits to taking a few more minutes with each student. I don't feel quite as rushed with the students, which in turn means that students feel they have more of my undivided time and have opened up more.

During these 3-5 minute meetings, students will be asked to rate 5 different areas of their life: friendship, self-esteem, school performance, career aspirations, and their personal relationship with Jesus (I'm at a Christian school). High school students also complete a check-list of things they have done in preparation for higher education (taking the SAT, visiting colleges, applying to scholarships, etc). I also ask students for one thing that they would like to improve this year, and at least one thing that they would like me to know about them. Before we are done, I give them an opportunity to schedule a longer time to talk with me about anything that's bothering them. Each student's individual information is not shared with others in the school, but overall data may be used as a tool for designing a school counseling program that meets the individual needs of the students at the school.

If you have many students and are just looking to gather some "quick" data, these forms can be used in a classroom setting. Simply distribute to the class, go over the questions with everyone, and collect. You may not get to know each student as personally as spending 5 minutes with them, but you would be getting feedback from lots of students rather quickly. 

Quick Meetings with the School Counselor (K-12)I use the big-picture data to see if there are any trends per grade level or class. I found it interesting when over half of a grade level mentioned the same class when asked how school is going. This lets me know that I need to check in with that teacher to see if I can do a lesson on study skills or organization, etc with her students. I'm also looking for relationships between students in the classes- is one particular student coming up when talking about friendships/ friendship problems? Is one class generally lower in friendship ratings? 

I plan on doing the quick meetings again mid-year, then again towards the end of the school year. I don't want any students to go unnoticed or feel invisible if they are having problems. After finishing the meetings, I've noticed that students (especially secondary students) are MUCH more open and friendly towards me. Not that they weren't before, but they are more likely to smile and greet me before I get a chance to greet them!

Next week, I plan on sending out little "Thank you" notes to the teachers for letting me take time to meet with each of their students. I don't want to be considered a burden to any of the teachers, and I know it can be frustrating to have students coming and going from their class to talk to me. A thank you can also serve to reassure them that not every week will be like this, and that I am respectful of their valuable teaching time with the students. I may also provide the overall data from their class (with absolutely NO personal information, just numbers) for them to understand what I'm seeing and how I'm using the data. 

(The forms do not include the "Relationship with Jesus" question for use in secular schools)

1 comment:

  1. Amanda, Thank you for sharing. I am really wanting to do this at my school. May I ask a logistics question? Did you sit outside of the classroom? Sis you stay in your office? How did you meet with them so quickly?


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