Here's What to Expect In This Episode:
As a high school counselor, you know that graduation is a major milestone for your seniors, and you’re feeling the pressure to help them successfully cross that finish line. It’s a time filled with energy and excitement, and you want to do everything you can to celebrate your seniors and help them launch into the next chapter.
But with a massive caseload and limited resources, how can you make a big impact without burning yourself out? The answer lies in one small step: gathering pictures of your seniors showing off their post-secondary plans.
I’m going to share 4 simple (and cost-effective) ways that you can repurpose these photos. They’ll make a big impact and help your students feel celebrated and supported as they move on to the next chapter of their lives. Let’s make this graduation season one to remember!
Topics Covered in This Episode:
- Collecting pictures of your seniors showing off what they’ll do after graduation
- Tips for how to keep this project organized in your iPhone
- Creating a slideshow of your seniors using digital apps, plus ideas for where you can share the slideshow
- How to celebrate your seniors with an engaging bulletin board
- Featuring your seniors on your social media account in order to build anticipation for upcoming senior events
- Utilizing an interactive Google Map to share all the different places that seniors will be next year
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- Sign up for a free counselor account on Everfi
- Follow Everfi on Instagram
- VLLO (video editing app)
- InShot (video editing app)
- Resource: Senior Bulletin Board
- Podcast: Episode 67, How to Utilize Free Financial Literacy Resources in Your High School Counseling Program with Lyssa Lyons
- Podcast: Episode 49, Using a Social Media Strategy to Promote Your High School Counseling Program
- Leave your review for High School Counseling Conversations on Apple Podcasts
Other Blog Posts You Might Like:
Read the transcript for this episode:
Hello my friends. Welcome to the newest episode of High School Counseling Conversations. I am your host, Lauren of Counselor Clique. Let’s dive right into this week’s episode.
You got into this profession to make a difference in your students lives, but you’re spread thin by all the things that keep getting added to your to do list. I can’t create more hours in the day, but I can invite you into my Counselor Clique where you’ll finally catch your breath.
Come with me as we unpack creative ideas and effective strategies that’ll help you be the counselor who leaves a lifelong impact on your students. I’m Lauren Tingle, your high school counseling hype girl here to help you energize your school counseling program and remind you of how much you love your job.
With a lot of your students, you’re probably wrapping up registration for next year at about this point. And maybe you’re finishing up some classroom lessons. I want to give a shameless plug to listen to last week’s episode all about how you could be doing some financial literacy lessons this month.
If you’re working with seniors right now in your caseload, you’re probably heavily focused on all the things graduation. All the things focused on your seniors right now. And rightfully so. As a high school counselor, you have a lot of pressure put on you to see them through till graduation. Graduation rate is everything to an administrator. I get it from their side. I have an episode coming soon with one of my former principals that you will not want to miss.
You also want to feel like you’re helping your students successfully close the door on this chapter as you help them launch into the next chapter. High school counselors are in a unique position to celebrate all of their seniors, your seniors. There’s so much energy around this time of year for your students. You’re pulling some across the finish line and others are finished early just waiting to dawn their cap and gown with pride.
Next episode, we’ll talk more specifics on one day that you could do to highlight your seniors and celebrate big, but this episode is going to be about how to take one small step to celebrate your seniors, and then repurpose that in four different ways. Work smarter, not harder, right? You have limited time on your hands so let’s use that time wisely.
Let’s get into how you’re going to celebrate your seniors with a few easy steps as we near the end of the school year. I’m confident that you can do a few small things to make a big impact here. Even with a huge caseload and a small budget, all of these ideas are possible that we’re going to talk about. Here are a few ideas that tie all together. So I’m going to give them to you in order of the way that I think that you should do them.
Here’s the main action step of this episode, I want you to gather pictures of your seniors showing off their post secondary plans. This could be a picture they submit to you in their college t-shirt or this could be you going to their classrooms to get their photos using a dry erase board and marker. Here’s what I mean. Let me fast forward to tell you what we’re going to do with these pictures and then give you the play by play on how to get there.
Once you have pictures of what your seniors are doing after graduation, we’re going to do four things with this information. We’re going to make a slideshow, make a bulletin board, showcase your students on social media, and make an interactive Google Map.
First, make some announcements that you’ll be collecting pictures of seniors celebrating their post secondary plans. I like to put this announcement out everywhere because let me tell you, the mamas out there are going to submit pictures of their senior babies because they want to celebrate them too. Give them an email address that they can send their picture to. I also think it’s helpful to have a little blurb about what they’re studying if their plans are to go to college.
Next talk to some of your key senior teachers like for me that would have been those who are teaching English four or gov and econ, which that’s a required senior class over here in these parts where I am. The classes that are heavily focused on seniors that have mostly seniors in them.
Get some days on the calendar to take your phone, a small dry erase board and a marker over to that classroom. Pull students out a few at a time to write their plans on the board and then you snap a picture. You could have a note in your phone to jot their name or any notes you need on their plans.
If you have an iPhone, here’s a pro tip. You can also swipe up when you’re looking at that picture in your photos. And then there’s a place for you to add a caption. I think this is super helpful in keeping you organized for our next step with the pictures.
Now that you have the pictures, let’s get into those four things I said you’re going to do with them. First, make a slideshow. If you’re on a Mac or you have an iPhone, you can use iMovie to do this. There are a few apps that you can use on your phone that are actually really simple to use that I’ll tell you there are two names. One is called I think it’s pronounced Vllo. That’s how I say it v l l o, capital V L L O. Vllo or inshot. I N S H O T. I’ll link both of those in the show notes.
You can add music from that editing app itself or you can download your own music and use that in the background for your slideshow. You can add text overlays, if you’re feeling fancy with students names that you have saved in your phone like in those captions. Show the slideshow at a senior breakfast, a graduation rehearsal, senior awards night, or senior decision day event. Anywhere where you have all of your seniors gathered. They will love to see that slideshow.
Next, I want you to use those pictures to make a bulletin board. You can easily send all of these pictures to be printed for pretty cheaply at your local CVS or pharmacy. Usually, you can find some sort of coupon to get these done extremely cheap. Like I’m talking pennies, I feel like per picture that’s printed.
Of course, you could also use a Polaroid camera or something cool like that. But I would not be going out of my way to buy Polaroid, you know pictures and a Polaroid camera if you don’t have one already. I’m talking about doing things efficiently. So let’s take those photos that you already have captured digitally. And then go ahead and print them out.
You could put them on a bulletin board to inspire your younger students and draw them into planning for their post secondary plans. It’s important to capitalize on the senior energy and get those younger students interested while it’s happening in your school right now.
Your bulletin board could also be a physical map of where students are going either with text or that picture that you printed out. I do think that pictures are just so much more visually compelling here. So why not use them here as well. You can put a pin in there showing where they’re off to.
I also have a “Dear Underclassmen, that’s what I call it, “Dear Underclassmen” bulletin board template in my TPT store where seniors can share their best advice with younger students in the school. And you could take those pictures and put it next to their advice. So go ahead and check that out. I will link that in the show notes too.
Then you can use these pictures that you’ve taken to post on your social media account like the school or school counseling social media account with students permission, of course. Students love being featured here. They’re so proud of where they’re off to. I did an episode about using social media for your school counseling program back in episode 49 that I’ll refer you back to if you’re needing a starting place for social media.
This usually builds anticipation for all of their senior events and celebrations too, when you’re posting about what those seniors are doing after graduation and that we’re actually nearing this time. Like we’ve almost made it to the finish line.
Lastly, take all of the information that you compiled for what their plans are and create an Interactive Google Map. This is one of my favorite things to do to celebrate the graduating class because it’s also educational for lots of other students, parents, and community members.
You’ll add pins in the places that students will be next year. So when you drop your pin on the map, you can add a title and a link. This way others can explore the places that those students will find themselves. I love this option among all the others, but especially this one, because it’s just truly a way to continue celebrating all students, whether they are enrolling in two year or four year college, enlisting in the military, or starting a job, you get to put all of that information on that pin and link to whatever that thing is.
The Google Map is shareable, which provides another opportunity to promote your program and all the good things that you’re up to. When you finish that interactive Google Map, title it, and then share it far and wide. Share it on your school social media channels, post it on your school counseling website and your school’s website, send it to district and state people who will be impressed beyond measure when they see this and then they’ll share it with their people.
So as a recap, you’re going to take or gather senior pictures as you come to a close at the end of your year. And then here are the four ways that you can repurpose them; create a slideshow, print off pictures or just use the information that they’ve given you to create a bulletin board, posts the images on your school social media account, (hello lots of content to post about) and then create an Interactive Google Map.
Everything here is so shareable and it just helps you continue to elevate your school counseling program while you celebrate. Thanks for joining me this week. Stay tuned for next week’s episode where I will share five ideas for creating a memorable senior decision day for your students.
Thanks for listening to today’s episode of High School Counseling Conversations. All the links I talked about today can be found in the shownotes and also at counselorclique.com/podcast. Be sure to hit follow wherever you listen to your podcasts so that you never miss a new episode. Connect with me over on Instagram. Feel free to send me a DM @counselorclique that c l i q u e. I’ll see you next week.
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