Why I Love Coffee with the Counselors

Partnering with stakeholders is important. We know this.

Whether it’s working with a supportive administrator, partnering with your librarian, reaching out to community members, or getting teacher buy-in, each aspect of the community that surrounds school counselors is important and valuable. The partnership with parents is no exception, so we created “Coffee with the Counselors.”

What is “Coffee with the Counselors?”

Once a quarter, we host “Coffee with the Counselors” for our parents. Maybe we could have thought of a more creative name for this, but let’s just call it what it is… We pick up coffee and doughnuts and have an interactive, conversational morning with our students’ parents.

What topics do you present on for “Coffee with the Counselors?”

We offer social/emotional topics that they’re not going to find at an evening open house, parent info night, curriculum night, or a PTSA meeting. We’ve found that quarterly hosting doesn’t wear us out too much, and we always have parents show up.

It’s always a small setting. Usually, 5-25 parents come to hear about the topics we or a guest speaker present on. The main ways we advertise the event are email, text message, phone blast, and social media.

We are always open to suggestions from parents or staff, but we’ve found that most people “don’t know what they don’t know” and often have trouble pinpointing what specifically they’d like to hear about! Here are some examples of topics we’ve done in the past:

  • Teen Mental Health (a pretty general presentation by our school counselors)
  • Growing Independent Young Adults (presented by our school counselors)
  • Parents as Allies: Recognizing Early Onset Mental Health Illness in Children and Adolescents (presented by our local NAMI chapter)
  • Commerce 101: Navigating the College and Career Landscape (presented by a regional workforce advisor)
  • How to Communicate with Your Teen (presented by a local licensed professional counselor, our school’s former school mental health counselor)
  • Trends in School Safety and Q&A with the School Resource Officer

What are the benefits of “Coffee with the Counselors?”

I love that parents feel supported here. I think every time we finish it up, parents realize “hey, I’m not the only one” dealing with this issue or needing help relating to my teenager in this way. Parents share anecdotes and experiences, connect with one another, chat informally with school counselors, and learn actionable takeaways.
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