Friday, February 8, 2013


This was a week of mixed emotions for me.  I have really been trying to reflect on my counseling program and how I can improve my work with students and staff.  In my quest for improvement, I sent out surveys to staff members and students.  I know, as everyone else, that I am not perfect and have a TON of room for improvement!  With that being said, it is never easy to get constructive (or sometimes not so constructive) criticism.

As I am reflecting on all of the surveys, I am learning that I have many things to feel good about and few things to work on.  I will be working very hard the rest of the year to improve the following things:
  • How quickly I respond when I am contacted by staff members.
  • Following up quickly and often after a referral has been made.
  • Tracking how effective my services are (Have students' made positive growth because of our work together?)
I have to admit that it was pretty scary putting myself "out there" for everyone to rate.  I also have to admit that I have taken the (not so great) comments hard.  However, one cannot grow without evaluating every now and again.  

Even though it was hard to hear some negative feedback, I am glad my collegues respect me enough to be honest.  I am also glad that I have colleagues who are constantly building me up and supporting me because they know that being the only counselor in a school is challenging (you all know who you are...thank you!)  

Whew....self-reflecting is hard!

Now for some smiles from the student surveys.  Kids are HILARIOUS!  Every single survey had something about bullying.  I teach four bullying lessons per year so I guess that is what sticks in their heads.  I have often been referred to as "the bully teacher."

My absolute favorites were the last question on the survey.  I have listed them below...enjoy!

  ~What would you like to learn from your school counselor?

  ~How to catch a snake. (Ummm....not gonna happen!)
  ~How to drink caffeine. (I can handle this one!)
  ~How to play football. (This was my own son.)
  ~How to make a cake. (I like cake.)
  ~How to do a back flip. (Again....not gonna happen!)
  ~Learn about fleeing. (I'm hoping they meant feelings!)
  ~To tell us not to eat ice cream. (It's not a food group?)
  ~I already know all I need from her she is awesome! (This one made me feel good.)

Ok, time to get busy and make my counseling program rock!


  1. Just stumbled on your blog from the stats page on mine and thought I'd pop in a say HI! I love that you're willing to put a survey out there ... the one that totally burst my bubble was the one we sent to parents a few years back .. so much great feedback but that handful that suggests I'm not doing a very good job really shook my world up ... then I had to decide what I was going to do about that. Be strong and keep movin' in the right direction!

    Your school must just LOVE you!


  2. Barbara~
    I was so hard to read the negative comments! Once I tallied all of them, I realized the positive far outweighed the negative which made me feel much better! Why do focus so much on the negative? I really need to work on that. I am so hard on myself. I really appreciate your kind words! I visit your blog often and have gotten some really good ideas from it. Thank you for you comments!


  3. Good stuff! I did a similar survey my first couple of years, and it's tough to read some of those things. And many times, teachers don't really know what they're rating on, because they really don't fully understand counseling standards. I found that I got much better feedback when I asked questions about the counseling program specifically, and not how I was performing. That's the kind of data that you can roll right back into your program.

    Rick Scheibner
    Hermiston, Oregon

  4. Hi thanks so much for sharing your feedback with us. I am a new elementary counselor in my first year at a new campus. Would you be willing to share your questions with me? It is really important to me that I do my best. I have been thinking about the same for myself and I'm unsure which questions I should ask I would appreciate any help you might have for me