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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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Got a Student Driving you Mad? Before you refer, try this.

November 28, 20222 min read

The semester is getting close to an end and so may be your patience. Maybe there is one student who always seems to interrupt your perfect lesson plan. Or, a student who just can’t keep to herself in line. Maybe it’s a high school student who always has an attitude. Whoever it is, I have an idea on this Monday that might just save you both from overload this week. 

 But first, you must adhere to the following thoughts:

You have to tap into the real reason you teach…that passion… and realize how important your words are to students.

You have to be slightly vulnerable to regain your power! You will get it back!

You have to believe that doing something different can result in a different outcome.

So, here goes:

This week when the same student does the same thing, you are to do something different. Invite (yes, I said INVITE) the student into the hallway for 30 seconds. (“Charlie, I want to invite you to step into the hallway with me for a minute.”) Then, once outside, get as calm as you can, dig into your passion, unleash your vulnerability and say this:

  1. Charlie, it seems like you have gotten off track this morning. I want you to know that it’s tough for me when you _________ (describe the action) __________ because I really want to teach you something important. I actually spend a lot of time getting ready for our class. It’s hurtful when you _____________.

  2. I don’t want to send you to the office. I would rather work things out with you. Would that be okay with you?

  3. Suppose in a minute, we both go back into class and something different happens so I don’t have to refer you. What do you think you could do? What could I do?

  4. Let’s talk after class about how this plan goes. 

Watch, like crazy, for anything the student does slightly better during that class. No need to say a lot in class.

After class, stop the student and let him/her know what you noticed. Let the student know how it affected you, and what it meant to you.

The next day, greet the student and promise to watch out for what he/she does again.


Just do it.

May the solution force be with you.

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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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