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Monday Ideas for School Counselors

Weekly articles for school counselors with ideas on how to resolve typical school situations with students, teachers and parents using the solution focused approach.

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On Becoming “Cool”

October 15, 20232 min read

I openly admit my affinity for the underdogs – those students who constantly find themselves in the principal's office for backtalk, challenging authority, and striving to make a statement through their dissent.

Because, deep down, I know they care.

Initially, engaging with them usually posed a challenge for me. They believed I was just like the others, attempting to mold them into conformity, so their responses were often dismissive: "I don't know," "I don't care," or "It doesn't matter, Ms."

But I persisted, asking questions like, "Who are you really?" and "What do people not understand about you, yet?" These questions unlocked doors to their true selves.

The conversation shifted, allowing me to connect with the human behind the rebellion and tap into their inner fire, helping them see themselves in a new light.

According to several students, I became "cool."

Being "cool" didn't mean I let them off the hook for their actions; far from it.

Instead, we explored their aspirations, what achieving them would entail, and how it could inspire positive change in others. Together, we devised a list of alternative ways for them to be the best versions of themselves without compromising their principles.

When they teetered on the brink of suspension, our conversations acted as a lifeline. We reintroduced them to the school administrators, showcasing the student's newfound plan to express their true selves.

So, as you embark on this Monday and the week ahead, consider being that "cool" presence, particularly when dealing with the mischievous eight-year-old, the middle school student who acts out and resists doing their work, or the sophomore who questions the value of academic integrity.

Be the school counselor who gazes into the eyes of these students navigating a turbulent world with countless influences and sees an expert waiting to emerge. Extend an invitation to them so you can introduce them to the best version of themselves.

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Dr Linda Metcalf

Linda Metcalf is the best-selling author of Counseling Toward Solutions and 10 other books. Linda is a former middle school teacher, all-level certified school counselor, licensed professional counselor supervisor, and licensed marriage and family therapist in the State of Texas. She is a Professor at Texas Wesleyan University.

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