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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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Stuck? I Challenge You to Become a Wizard!

February 06, 20232 min read

Does your day ever look like this?

Students are sent to you with declining academic success.

The same students with behavioral concerns are at your office again.

Teachers are upset about getting disrespected and are being disrespectful back.

Parent expectations are impossible.

They all must think you are a wizard at everything. 

And here’s the good news: the solution-focused approach will make you that wizard.

Yes, it will. 

Let’s look at the same scenarios above and do some wizardry with some solution-focused questions:

Students are sent to you with declining academic success.

Look at WHEN there was more academic success. “Tell me how it is that you are passing two classes out of six.” Listen and take notes. Give them the notes.

The same students with behavioral concerns are at your office again.

Ask: “What will be happening soon in your classroom so that these “behaviors” don’t get you sent to the office? What would your teacher be doing? What would you be doing?” And, my all-time FAVE question: “What do you wish your teachers recognized in you?”

Teachers are upset about getting disrespected and are being disrespectful back.

Try this: “Wow, this sounds awful for you. Let’s call Josh in and talk together for about 10 minutes today.” Then, with both present: “So, I hear things aren’t going well for both of you. How would you each like things to be, just for a day or so?” Then, make a list. Keep them focused on what they WANT, but asking the Great Instead Question: “Instead of __what would be going on instead?” That, you can work with.

Parent expectations are impossible.

Acknowledge their concerns and see them as a passionate parent who loves their kid. Yes, even the parent who wants a new discipline program, a new science program, a better building, and no uniforms, means they love their kid. So, love them back with: “Wow, that does sound like it could benefit Karen. Can you tell me what you think a new discipline program might do for her? What else? X10 - Listen for sincere, doable, and helpful outcomes and jump on them. Then try:

“So, Karen might ______. Until that new program happens, what can we try here for a few days that might help Karen to_____?” And, with Karen present, “What do you think you might do in return, for a day or two?”

These are all excerpts from tried and true examples of the wizardry of the solution-focused approach. They can help you get through any challenge.

During the next few weeks, I am going to give you several “challenges” to push you a little bit more into solution-focused land. 

CHALLENGE #1

Try out one of these ideas this week, and when you get unstuck, email me what happened! Click here for my email: Linda Metcalf

At the end of the challenges, I will pick one person randomly and send you and your staff a special treat.

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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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Practical tools and strategies for school counselors to help students achieve their goals

Practical tools and strategies for school counselors to help students achieve their goals

Fort Worth, TX

(817)799-7678

linda@lc.solutionfocusedschool.com

Fort Worth, TX

(817) 690-2229

info@solutionfocusedschool.com

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