Students are inundated with emails right now and have information overload. We’re living in some weird times. What can we do to check in with students and make sure they’re doing okay?
It’s hard to put up our filters even as adults and decide what needs our attention immediately and what can wait. If we feel like this in our careers and our personal lives, I am certain our high school, middle school, and even elementary school friends are feeling this on a deep level, too.
Let’s get creative and meet them where they are. Here are three ways to check in with students (even when it’s tough) right now.
1- Be visible.
Be in the halls and walk to their classrooms if you are in school (even only on certain days). I know none of us want them missing the tiny bit of class time they have in person. It’s too valuable, and we want to be on the same team as teachers with that if we can help it. Check in with students outside their classrooms if possible. I love any excuse to get out of the office and walk around the school. It adds to your visibility and accessibility, students miss only minimal class time, and other students often remember they need to talk to you when they see you!
If you need to follow up with a student, be sure to document in a way that’s helpful for you and reminds you to circle back around with them. Whether you’re a pen and paper counselor or a digital tools junkie, figure out what works for you and run with it.
2- Offer small group counseling.
Offer small group counseling (read “7 Tips for Running Small Groups at the High School Level“) as a way to connect with students in person with whatever safety and distancing precautions your school has in place. A small group setting could be exactly what a student needs for some belonging and connection during a very isolating time. Consider running a Stress Management Small Group with your students!
3- Use digital check-ins with your students.
Do some digital check-ins with students. You can email these to them and have them send them back filled out, you can present them in a classroom setting, you can assign them to a Google Classroom, or you can do them together via video chat (screen share!) or together in person just to facilitate some good conversation. (For specific tips on how to implement digital check-ins in your school counseling program, read “4 Practical Ways to Incorporate Digital Check-Ins in Your School Counseling Setting.“)
Cheers to checking in!
Need to boost others’ perceptions of your school counseling programs while you’re at it? Join my Advocacy Challenge and share your amazingness with your stakeholders through this email challenge!