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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.


When Students Want Teachers to Change.

September 19, 20221 min read

Just think for a moment… What if you could change someone? What difference might that make for you? 

Well, until that magic potion is created we are going to have to set our sights on changing what we can change… ourselves. That goes for us, and for our students and teachers. 

So, when students come to talk to you, upset about a teacher, or vice versa, and the person wants the other person to change, try this…

“Tell me, if that person were in here, how might they describe you, as you have tried to reach them and get them to change?”

(Warning: This usually results in soul searching and acknowledgement of some wrongdoing on the person’s part. Just smile.)

Start making a list (#1)

Keep asking “what else?” at least 10 times. Get a good description.


“Tell me, is this who you really are as a person? I see someone different in front of me. Who do you wish ____ saw that they can’t see right now?”

“What would people who love you and respect you also say about who you are?”  

Make a new list (#2)

Ask “what else?” at least 10 times.

You now have two lists.

Read the first one back slowly.

Then, read the second list.

Give the person copies of both lists.

Ask the person to think about who they wish others to see as they leave your office… just for the rest of the day. 

Follow up in a few days with “What’s better?” and, “what else is better?”

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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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