Pro Tips for Classroom Lessons: Target These 6 Teacher Types to Increase Reach

Classroom lessons should be a regular part of a comprehensive counseling program. Unfortunately, there are REAL barriers and challenges to getting space for counselors to teach their expertise in the classroom setting. Often, teachers, who also have rising pressures and demands from lesson plans to state exams, are skeptical of the value counselors bring to their students. They can also worry that this means more work for them, making counselor classroom lessons appear as a hindrance rather than a help.

In my experience, there are certain “types” of teachers that are easier to get “in” with when it comes to bringing valuable counselor content to the classroom level. Start with these teachers when building a plan to grow your reach and make a greater impact with classroom lessons.

Side note: If you’re here wondering what you would even teach in the classroom setting… I’ve got you covered. I’m linking out below to some of the most popular classroom lessons on my TpT store. Here I build out lesson plans with mindsets, behaviors, and objectives making this all super easy for you!

Okay, back to targeting teachers!

classroom lessons

1- Use classroom lessons to aid the “overwhelmed teacher”

Consider the teacher in your building who may need something taken off their plate. The one you see running late to class, stressing about lesson plans, or fretting about reaching all of their students. This is the perfect opportunity to come in as a support person, using your material to create space for them to catch their breath.

Invite them into what you are doing, or give them the liberty to use your lesson time to grade papers or leave the classroom altogether. A simple, gentle approach like “Hey, this is something I need to do as part of my curriculum. Is there a way this can help you out, too?” This can be some low-hanging fruit to get your foot in the door if classroom lessons are not the norm in your school.

2- Support an “absent teacher” with a classroom lesson plan

If you know a teacher who is going to be on leave in advance, whether for a personal reason, vacation, or illness, be a support to their sub plan by offering to do a classroom lesson. I wouldn’t advise you to be every teacher’s fall back sub (you definitely want to create space for you to prepare), but there could be special circumstances where a teacher knows in advance when they will be absent. If you get on their radar early, this could be a great opportunity to come in as a support while also meeting your own mindsets and behaviors to go into the classroom to reach students.

3- Reach out to the “open-minded teacher” to build reach with classroom lessons

Find the teacher in your building who is bent towards creativity in partnership with others. Some teachers will be more comfortable with “handing over the reigns” in their classrooms to guest speakers and outside influencers. Teachers who are willing to collaborate or try new things in their classroom are great partners for getting a foot in the classroom door.

Pro tip: Work as a team with your counselor coworkers to leverage relationships. If you have a lead with a teacher whose students are not as relevant to your goals, refer them out to another counselor in your department. Don’t go at this alone!

4- Your “friend teacher” can be a great partner for classroom lessons

If you have a friend who is a teacher, don’t be afraid to simply ask them a favor! Use your relationship as a jumping-off point to gain some traction in the classroom setting. This may seem off limits, but I’m here to encourage you that it’s okay to use your “friend card” because getting into the classrooms is important!

5- Don’t shy away from “high stakes teachers” when planning classroom lessons

When I say “high stakes teacher,” I’m talking about the teacher with an end-of-course state exam looming over them. It can be hard for this teacher to give up valuable educational time when they have a state test that will evaluate their performance at end of the year. Don’t overlook these teachers! Often, these teachers will have a couple of weeks at the end of the semester after the exam. This is where your content could be super helpful and fit very naturally into their plan for the semester.

6- Take advantage of the flexible “elective teacher” to advance your classroom lessons

I’m not saying the teachers who teach elective courses aren’t offering valuable material. However, they often have a lot more flexibility because they aren’t prepping for a state exam. A little bit more creativity with their syllabus may make it easier for these teachers to invite others into what they are doing.

Now that we’ve covered which teachers to target to get a leg up in the classroom, be sure to listen to these podcast episodes to discover the best way to approach classroom lessons to maximize reach and impact in your school.

OR listen to this curated Spotify playlist for a handful of High School Counseling Conversations podcast episodes all related to high school counseling classroom lessons!

I know they can feel intimidating, but I’m here to encourage you to not shy away from classroom lessons. Classroom lessons allow you to reach a large crop of students, while also creating space for other student needs and issues to rise to the surface. You got this!

classroom lessons

Share it:


You might also like...