Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Counseling Referrals

I don't know about you, but I am in and out of my counseling room all day every day. There are many times that a student or teacher will come to my room to talk or to request counseling time and, much to their (and my) dismay, I am not there.  Sometimes, I do not make it back to my room for an hour...or several hours. When I am finally able to get back to my room, I may have a handful of notes in my mailbox requesting counseling time. There are many times that I do not make it back to my room until the end of the school day which results in missing a student or two.....or 5. Plus, students are spending a lot of time outside the classroom when they come down to see that I am not there and write me a note. (They really like to take their time getting back to class.)

This is what the outside of my door currently looks like. Cute, but inefficient. My focus this year is to be more efficient and more available to students and staff.  Sooooo.......


I am trying something new (fingers crossed). 

You are probably sick to death of me talking about Google Forms by now but, I LOVE GOOGLE FORMS!!!! So here we go again! 

I created a "Student Referral" form that students fill out IN THE CLASSROOM without taking the time to walk down to my room. I have put the link on the computer desktops and iPads of every classroom in the building. If a student needs to see me, they click on the link, fill out the form, and submit. Within a minute or two, I get a notification that a Student Referral form has been filled out. I can check immediately, wherever I am, to see who is requesting counseling time and how immediate the concern. AWESOME!!!

Below is what the Student Referral form looks like. Extremely short and easy to do. If you notice at the bottom of the form, students can choose, "I need to see you....RIGHT AWAY, Sometime today or Sometime this week." I am able to prioritize the students I need to see first and then work my way through. I am SO excited, I can't even stand it!!! 


So then I got to thinking about the amount of times a teacher has come to talk to me about a student and says, "I have been wanting to talk to you for days/weeks but forget every time I leave my classroom."  Let's face it, if something is not in my calendar WITH a reminder that pops up, it does not exist in my world.  Everyone has so much on their plates that we forget or don't have time to accomplish everything.

In order to help the teachers, I created a "Teacher Referral" form and put it on all of their laptop desktops for quick and easy access.  It works the same way as the student referral.  


While I'm at it, I might as well create a "Parent Referral" form, too!  This one was a little more tricky because I wasn't sure how I was going to share this with parents.

I give a newsletter at every classroom lesson for students to give to their parents, so I created a QR code with the link and put it on the newsletter (I put the student one on there, too). Parents and students can scan the QR code and go directly to fill out the referral form.


To create a QR code, click the picture below.  It is so easy and took me 2 minutes to create.  
(This is just a picture of a QR code, not the actual QR code I made.)

I am really excited to give this new referral system a try. I will keep you updated on how it goes.

What do you think???  I would love to hear your feedback!

~Emily

48 comments:

  1. Emily, thank you so so so much! I'm just starting out (and in the middle - or rather, the end - of the school year, too! So I'm just thrilled to find your blog and so much great advice and resources. I've been thinking a lot about the teacher/student/parent referral forms, since the school I will be working at has no existing system, and I have to come up with everything myself. I really appreciate your efforts and generosity. Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Emily, thank you so so so much! I'm just starting out (and in the middle - or rather, the end - of the school year, too! So I'm just thrilled to find your blog and so much great advice and resources. I've been thinking a lot about the teacher/student/parent referral forms, since the school I will be working at has no existing system, and I have to come up with everything myself. I really appreciate your efforts and generosity. Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the kind words! The student referral is going well. I was out of the building for a meeting today and got a referral email. I was able to email the office to let the student know I was not there instead of her wondering why I didn't get her right away. So much better than getting the note the next day! Good luck in your position!

      ~Emily

      Delete
  3. This is a phenomenal idea! I know it can sometimes take a lot for a student just to walk down to your office, and if they happen to miss you then they might not try again. This allows much easier access. And with the quick online reference, shy or embarrassed students might feel more encouraged to seek counseling. This is a great method that benefits everyone. http://www.fcaalaska.org/

    ReplyDelete
  4. It is great that high schools have counselors available to them. That can be such a difficult time in life so it is nice that they have someone that they can get advice from. It is especially nice when the counselors have impressive ideas like these. http://www.janimccarty.com/liberate/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am at the elementary level, but thank you for the kind words!

      Delete
  5. I am TOTALLY looking in to doing this. Thank you, Emily, for planting this brilliance. Fingers crossed we can pull it off at my new campus with 3rd through 5th graders!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Are teachers able to print these as documentation for themselves as well?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmmm...I've not tried that. I suppose they could print out before submitting the request.

      Delete
  7. Thank you for the brilliant idea. Can you tell me how you set it up so you get a notification when the referral comes in?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go to the spreadsheet that is automatically made.
      Click "Tools"--->"Notification Rules"--->set how you want to be notified.

      Delete
  8. Can you explain the process of getting the students access. Do they have to sign into google docs to complete and submit the form? I'd love to hear more about the set up process, so see if it will work in our school. Also, do they younger kids have an okay time completing this type of referral?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Google docs will give you a link to the form. I added the link to all of the classroom computers. Students/Staff simply click the link to fill out the survey. K and 1 needed some help at first (especially at the beginning of the year). Some students always required help but most were able to complete the form on their own. I hope this answers your question!

      ~Emily

      Delete
  9. Is there any way to share these Google forms in order to save time by recreating them? If so, oh my word, that would be AMAZING!!! ebriley@csd2.org

    Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, could you share them with me as well? Thanks! brockradio@gmail.com

      Delete
  10. Thank you so much for posting this great information, I really appreciate it. I can't wait to use these as I start my first year as a K-8 counselor. I have enjoyed your blog, hope you are having a good summer!

    ReplyDelete
  11. LOVE THESE!! I've just created my own and am very excited for the new school year. I have a really, really, really hard time getting teachers to fill out forms though. How do you get teacher buy-in for actually using this form instead of emailing, calling, or talking to you in person? I would prefer this way so I can collect the data easier and it keeps everything in one spot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! I'm glad you like the idea! To be honest, since I implemented this later in the year I did not have as much teacher buy in as I would like. I'm hoping that will change this year since I will be starting the year with it. I still don't mind them calling or talking to me in person. I am just trying to give them an easier and quicker way to at least let me know that they have concerns.

      ~Emily

      Delete
  12. I love this, and have already created my own to use this coming year with teachers! I have a related question: if a student comes to you and says they want to meet, not to discuss an issue but to have social time (like a lunch group), do you have a method for tracking that too? Once kids find out that I have activities and stickers in my office, I am inundated with requests. Admin will not allow me to put my referral forms on the classroom computers, so I have to think of another way to track these requests. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For the social kiddos, I let them come eat with me once. I don't do several group sessions with those.

      You could email the link to the staff and they can save it in an email folder. Just a thought.

      ~Emily

      Delete
  13. This is great and I would really like to try it. Can the responses come to any email? For instance, I would like the notification to come to my work email instead of my gmail account.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will come to your gmail account but I also have the notifications come to my work email. When you open the spreadsheet, click on "Tools" and then "Notification Rules." You can put any email address and it will send a notification.

      Hope this helps!

      ~Emily

      Delete
  14. How did you change the email address it comes too? I can get it to let me send them too me immediately, but don't see an option to change my email address under "tools' then "notification rules". Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have to log into your gmail and forward your messages to whatever email address you want to use.

      Delete
  15. I also have a lot of trouble with teachers forgetting to come speak with me or catching me in the hallway, when I am usually on my way somewhere and can't stop to talk. I would love to use this method, could you send me the electronic referral forms? hucknallc@pcsb.org

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I gave you access. Please be sure to make a copy and save to your "My Drive" before using, otherwise it changes for everyone.

      ~Emily

      Delete
  16. I am a 9th grade counselor and I love your google docs referral idea. I'll be creating that!!

    Thanks!
    Lorise Grey

    ReplyDelete
  17. Would you mind sharing all these forms--student, teacher and parent ones? I know it is mid year, but late is better not showing up. Thanks so much for your awesome blog.

    kla082010@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hello! Your forms are genius! Would you mind sharing all of these forms with me, parent, student, and teacher? I came into my current school a few months ago, and unfortunately there is not a referral system in place, which is making my job a little difficult! Thanks so much again!

    ashleynmcginty88@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I think this is awesome. A few months ago, I created a google forms for the teachers to be able to fill out to refer a student, but I had not even thought about creating one for the students and parents to fill out. Genius! I do have a question. How did you get the link on all of the computers and iPads? I don't know how to do this, and I would love to. I also love the QR code for parents. Great idea.

    Mary Beth Jenkins
    mjenkins@lcdoe.org

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most teachers were able to save the link on their classroom devices but I helped the ones who needed the help.
      ~Emily

      Delete
  20. I love this! Going to try the student referral first. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am becoming obsessed with your forms! I would really appreciate you sharing the student,teacher and parent referral forms.

    Also are you on teacherspayteachers or provide tutorials on how to create these documents?

    Again, I would really appreciate you sharing!

    kelly.haddenj@gmail.com

    Thank you!

    Sincerely,
    Kelly H.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Ok, clearly I have been out of the technology game because I am so lost. How do I create a document like this with bubbles for them to choose and submit. When I am in google docs it is Word, but I don't know how to make it like a website in order for them to click on things. Could you please help me? Thanks! gracia.leticia@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am giving you access to mine. You need to make a copy and save it to your Drive before you can use them otherwise you will change mine, too.
      I hope this helps!
      ~Emily

      Delete
  23. I think I have given everyone access who has asked. If I have missed you, I apologize and please email me at hanselorthecounselor@gmail.com.
    ~Emily

    ReplyDelete
  24. This is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! Thank you so much for posting this. Hopefully, I can implement something similar @ my schools!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love, love these forms! As a new school counselor, these would be a great use to me! I am lost on the best way to accommodate the students, teachers, and parents. I would love to try this if you don't mind sharing!! My email is pborn@up140.org

    ReplyDelete
  26. I was wondering if you could send me these forms as well I really appreciate it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My email is bethrichards@fairfieldcolts.com

      Delete
  27. I've been a counselor 25 years and am dragging myself kicking and screaming into the digital age. Today I learned to create a sign up calendar for my teachers to request their monthly CRG block of time now that I am FINALLY off of the "resource" schedule. As we approach 700 students I'm pleased with the return from full time "Guidance Teacher" to a functional School Counselor who is back in the saddle of REGULAR groups and individual counseling. There are many additional hats for me, y'all know the drill... I was about to develop a fresh new referral form tonight but I LOVE YOURS SO MUCH, I wonder if you can share this document with me, so I don't reinvent the wheel. I will be so grateful! email: rdale@iwcs.k12.va.us THANKS!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hello! I love these referral forms. Would you mind sharing to bschwarz@mr238.org? Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  29. This is the most amazing thing I have ever seen! I am a case manager for a homeless shelter that is specifically for teenagers. If possible, would you mind sharing it with me at tomlin60@msu.edu
    I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  30. This is the most amazing thing I have ever seen! I am a case manager for a homeless shelter that is specifically for teenagers. If possible, would you mind sharing it with me at tomlin60@msu.edu
    I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete