How I Schedule Classroom Lessons

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In grad school, we learn about effectively implementing counseling lessons in the classroom but not necessarily about how to schedule those lessons. That was the struggle I faced during my first year at my current school. Because I am the first full-time counselor at this school, they didn’t really have any process for the previous part-time counselor to come into the classrooms {mostly because she only did classroom lessons a couple of times during the year}. Since I wanted to visit each classroom MONTHLY, I had to get teachers on board and figure out how to schedule them!

Lower School

I started off scheduling lower school classroom lessons by posting a calendar in the faculty lounge every month so that teachers could sign up for their preferred time {I blocked out times I knew I wouldn’t be available}. As you can imagine, the problem with this method was that teachers simply forgot to sign up, and I was spending time hunting them down so I could schedule that month’s lesson. I also realized that most of the teachers were always signing up for the same day of the week and class period each month, which led to an idea…

At the beginning of this year, I asked the lower school teachers to give me their top 3 days and times for me to present monthly lessons to their classes.

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Now, every month I look at those choices they gave me and create the schedule based on that. I e-mail it out every month for them to review for any scheduling conflicts.

 

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This system has been working WONDERFULLY this year! I no longer have to beg teachers to sign up every month, nor do they have to remember  to look out for a sign up sheet.

 

Middle School

I spent my first year at my current school begging for middle school teachers to volunteer their class time for me to present my lessons {since the 5th-7th grade students switch classes, I couldn’t simply take them from homeroom like I do with lower school}. This tended to work out when there was a day that a teacher had finished a unit and was not going to be moving on until the following class anyway, but it was definitely a lot of extra work and left me anxious that I wouldn’t get all of my lessons done. At the end of that school year, the assistant principal approached me with a way to work my lessons into the middle school schedule. I don’t know if she could sense my desperation or if the middle school teachers suggested it, but whatever the reasoning, it was an awesome opportunity!

Our middle school students attend Library once a week with their homeroom class, and one of those weeks every month, I present my lessons to the 5th, 6th, and 7th grade students. {Luckily the school librarian is also my work BFF, so she was totally on board with this arrangement}.

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I expanded this idea even further to add more middle school small groups to my counseling program. I now see every middle school student in a small group, and my groups are separate for boys and girls. I’ll be writing a post on these groups soon. The librarian and I made the following schedule: one week all students in each homeroom have library class, and the next they have a counseling lesson. The following week, I have the girls in group while the boys have library, and the next week I have the boys while she has the girls. This arrangement has worked well for both of us, and I’m so glad we figured it out!

 


So, that’s how I schedule my monthly lessons! It took some trial and error, but I feel that I finally have a solid system in place. Comment below with how you schedule your classroom lessons!


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2 thoughts on “How I Schedule Classroom Lessons

  1. Hannah - the swedish school counselor says:

    Oh, how I would love to have some more time in the classroom! And I’m hoping for some change.

    But maybe I should drop the idea to some of my teachers and then go with it!
    That we together schedule one lesson a month.. But I don’t want to chase those teachers down! I’ve had a bit of a hard time to be in the classrooms, since it’s now midturn and soon Christmas holiday. In the beginning of this year, I had two lessons on Study skills with one class, some more information about high school for ninth grade and so on, but I need to do it more regular.. Hmm.. you got me thinking here!

    Like

    • The School Counselor Life says:

      Going into the classrooms is one of my FAVORITE ways to build relationships with all of the students at my school. If once a month isn’t realistic for you, maybe you could try every other month? I’ve found that the teachers mostly are happy to have a small built-in break every month, and they appreciate the social emotional skills that their students learn. Good luck!

      Like

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