My 4 Must-Listen Podcast Episodes for New High School Counselors [Episode 126]


Here's What to Expect in This Episode:

I love sharing ideas, tips, and advice about all things related to school counseling. But nothing makes me more excited than the joy, eagerness, and excited demeanor of new high school counselors! They’ve got all these new ideas they want to implement and are excited to hit the ground running. So, if you’re a new high school counselor and thinking, “What do I need to know before the school year begins?” this episode is for you! 

Learning all the things you’ll need to do as a new high school counselor can be overwhelming, so in today’s episode, I’m sharing four must-listen podcast episodes for new high school counselors. Each episode discusses a different aspect of school counseling, with a small clip of what you should do or an idea to think about. 

This podcast allows me to reach so many school counselors and help out those who are new or looking for new ways to run a small group or how to use data. So, if you’re a new high school counselor, listen to these four must-listen podcast episodes to get a better idea of what to expect as a school counselor in the fall. 

Topics Covered in This Episode:

  • Clips from four must-listen podcast episodes for new high school counselors
  • The importance of your office space and normalizing making mistakes as a school counselor
  • Things you should not do in your role and what you should be doing instead
  • How to feel confident in your job, even though it might be new for you

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Read the transcript for this episode:

Lauren Tingle 0:00
So you’ve heard me mentioned the podcast playlist I made for new high school counselors that has 15 episodes on it right now. I know it’s a lot. So if you’re ready for that deep dive before we even begin here in this episode, go to to get that mack daddy of what I’m referencing here.

Lauren Tingle 0:19
In this episode, I want to give you some sound bites, snippets, quick tips from those episodes and highlight my absolute faves. Because according to my Instagram stories, lots of you are either moving around from elementary or middle school to high school, or you’re starting a new job right out of grad school, and you’re ready to dive into the world of high school counseling.

Lauren Tingle 0:38
So if you haven’t gotten the job yet, you’re first going to go to so I can send you a three video interview series to help you secure that new job.

Lauren Tingle 0:48
Then you’re going to come back here to this episode. This episode is going to be your awesome stepping stone to the podcasts playlist. And then to the eight episode audio course for new high school counselors called High School Counselor Kickstart. And then you’re going to join the Clique Collaborative Membership if you want that continued support & PD.

Lauren Tingle 1:05
I’m just laying out the roadmap for you here. I want to share a screenshot from a new high school counselor. And I just wanted to read it here because it reminded me of why I do this podcast and what inspired this podcast episode. It’s because of you the listeners.

Lauren Tingle 1:20
It said “I was just telling my supervisor about your podcast yesterday. It feels like it’s my own personal PD. And it’s so convenient and relevant new high school counselor here. Thank you so much.” If you ever have kind words about the podcast, I will not tell you to keep those to yourself. Send me a DM and let me know how it’s helped you because it truly means the world to me. It’s really energizing. And I love hearing from people who are listening. So it doesn’t just be like I’m talking to myself over here.

Lauren Tingle 1:47
I know this podcast can be especially helpful for new high school counselors who are entering the field. So though that may not be you in this season, I bet you know someone who could benefit from it. So if you’re a veteran, go ahead and send this episode over to an intern or a grad student. And hopefully you can pass it along to someone else who would enjoy it.

Lauren Tingle 2:43
So let’s get into it. Since you’re short on time, but you’re committed to this new role that you got or that you’re about to get.

Lauren Tingle 2:49
People often ask I got the job as a high school counselor, I’m so excited. What do I need? Listen, I’m not here to list out XYZ and tell you you can’t do your job without these. This episode that you need to listen to is the back to school office prep episode. It’s relevant for all high school counselors, but probably definitely you since you’re prepping your office for the first time.

Lauren Tingle 3:12
You want to know what you need and what you don’t need. You want to know what you’re going to spend your money on and what’s frivolous and that you don’t need to spend money on. Here’s an excerpt from that episode. And the reason why it’s on my top listen to most episodes, you’re going to hear it in this clip. Let’s roll a clip from Episode 32 where I talk about your physical office space and how to make it work functionally for you.

Lauren Tingle 3:35
Let’s talk about your office first. You have to avoid the comparison game here. I personally I love it. I love seeing pictures of everyone’s offices. But it’s really hard not to compare your office to others or idolize that perfect boho aesthetic or you know, whatever your style is. Everyone’s situations are different. You see one picture and this person has a classroom size office and then you look over here, and that person has an office that’s a closet size under the stairs like Harry Potter.

Lauren Tingle 4:04
When we’re thinking about our office, think about this question. Is it a place that you can do counseling, where you can provide a safe and confidential space for the students that you are working with? Check. Perfect, great. If not, it’s time to advocate for that space.

Lauren Tingle 4:20
I know that real estate in a school is sometimes really hard to come by. But you do need an appropriate space to do your job. This means no sharing an office with anyone though I’ve wanted to do that with some counselor friends of mine, you know, in theory, not actual practice. This means no hallway passing through the middle of your office for someone to get somewhere else like you cannot have people walking through your office in the middle of a session. These things do not make sense for our counselors office space.

Lauren Tingle 4:45
I also talk in this episode about moving into this space slowly and letting your day to day inform how you’ll use the space, how you’ll set it up, and how you’ll pretty it up and enjoy every day that you’re working in your office.

Lauren Tingle 4:59
Along these lines of what you need and what you don’t need, I’m going to link three resources in the show notes that are great starter resources that are probably going to be the most helpful for you as a high school counselor when you’re deciding, like where to start.

Lauren Tingle 5:12
So the first one I’m going to link is a planning mega bundle. This is good for all grade levels. It has a 9th 10th 11th and 12th grade component, has a presentation and then a workbook style resource for your students. That’s digital and printable, it’s just kind of like that all encompassing resource to get your feet wet, get you moving in the right direction with your students. It’s called the planning mega bundle.

Lauren Tingle 5:34
I’m also going to link a beginning of the year presentation to tell your people in your school, your admin and your teachers, what you do as a school counselor. You never know the state of affairs when you step into this role and what your role has looked like in the school before. So it’s important that you set that standard right from the beginning.

Lauren Tingle 5:51
And then I’m gonna like a bulletin board bundle, because chances are you need to spruce those things up and give them some new life. So all of those resources are listed there. People often ask like, what resources do I need when I started out as a new high school counselor? I’m not going to tell you there are ones that you have to have. But those three are some good ones to have in your back pocket when you start working in this job.

Lauren Tingle 6:11
Next, it’s probably crossed your mind that high school counseling can feel really high stakes. And that’s because it is. Maybe I’m biased because I’m obsessed with working in high school. And my experience does not lie in middle school or elementary school. But high school counselors have a lot of pressure on them between graduation rates, college and career readiness factors, social emotional wellness and mental health. We’re launching young adult humans out into the real world like that does feel like a lot of pressure, you’re probably aware that that pressure exists.

Lauren Tingle 6:41
And that’s probably what’s keeping you up at night. And that’s why you’re here listening to this podcast. So let me try to alleviate some of that.

Lauren Tingle 6:48
Let me first say mistakes are bound to happen, you will not do this job perfectly, and others before you have made mistakes too. So I guarantee that you are also going to make mistakes and that scary. Episode 73 has some examples of mistakes that I’ve made and stressors that I felt the weight from. So let’s normalize these mistakes by sharing this clip with you.

Lauren Tingle 7:10
First up, you will make mistakes. Some of these mistakes will be more stressful than others like miscalculating credits needed for graduation or misplacing test booklets that need to get sent back to the College Board. You will counsel a student and wish you took something back that you said or wish you said something you didn’t say to begin with.

Lauren Tingle 7:29
Yes, all of those things have caused moments of panic for me, but they did all work themselves out. The year I worked with 420 seniors was the most stress I’ve been in my entire life. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. I had checked and rechecked my seniors graduation requirements and prayed each night that I didn’t miss anything. I knew it was on them too, but I felt a lot of weight to get them across that stage.

Lauren Tingle 7:53
We talked about that pressure back in episode 71 where I talked with my old principal Eric Williams. I’ve stayed at school late counting and recounting and wondering where I misplaced test booklets all while cursing the day I got assigned test coordinator frustrated because that didn’t fall into my acceptable job responsibilities according to ASCA.

Lauren Tingle 8:12
You’ll Reply All to an email to the whole staff and be embarrassed that you did that. You’ll forget about a meeting that was on your calendar. You’ll forget that you scheduled a meeting for Monday morning before school even starts and you won’t show up but the parent will be there, you’ll miss an important voicemail, you’ll need an extension on a deadline. you’ll upload first semesters transcript instead of second semesters, you’ll fill out a form incorrectly.

Lauren Tingle 8:34
I’m telling you, there are so many mistakes that you can make in this job. It’s really not if you make a mistake, it’s when you make a mistake. This doesn’t make you incompetent at your job at all. It makes you human. Counselors juggle so many moving pieces at all times. Let’s normalize making mistakes. You are no less of a human or a person or a counselor because of the mistakes that you make these mistakes do not define you.

Lauren Tingle 9:00
You are a human who will make real mistakes in this job and I wish I had considered this before I put so much pressure on myself to be perfect or to say the right thing or to never let anyone down. Go back and listen to that full episode for two more things that I wish I knew when I was starting out. It’s a good one.

Lauren Tingle 9:22
In Episode 72, I shared what not to do as a new high school counselor and what to do instead. Because obviously, I couldn’t just leave you with a bunch of problems and no solutions. I hate when people do that.

Lauren Tingle 10:33
So here’s one bit of advice for me: ease into this role slowly, I know you want to dive in, take it all in change the world overnight, but use that energy to your advantage. Here’s a clip where I talked about a mistake I made in the beginning of my career.

Lauren Tingle 10:49
Don’t take on too much all at once. I know it can be tempting to be a team player, especially when you’re new at the job or when you’re the new kid on the team. I feel like the better I got at my job, the more I was asked to be on committees and planning teams and feedback councils, I was asked to be on interview committees and sponsor clubs and lead this new initiative over here.

Lauren Tingle 11:10
In your beginning years of your career, you probably have the most energy and excitement you’re ever going to have. We don’t want you to wake up one day and have this flame put out because you’re over committed to things. My practice of saying no to things really only happened for me personally, once I had my first daughter. It was so much easier for me to leave work on time because I had somewhere else to be in someone else who is counting on me.

Lauren Tingle 11:33
But I also want to speak to those who don’t have kids or who don’t have a partner that they’re going home to. Your boundaries are also important, you do not need to be the one who is voluntold to be here because you’re outside of work commitments are different from being the wife or the mom that you work with.

Lauren Tingle 11:50
I know that you have a life outside of work too. For all school counselors to work life balance is extremely necessary. I have a handful of other podcast episodes that talk about this. And I’ll link those in the show notes. If you’re looking to get ahead of this before you’re too far into this career.

Lauren Tingle 12:06
There will definitely be times when you’re doing a morning or an evening event that’s guaranteed to happen. Like it’s inevitable. It’s gonna happen at some point or kind of often in your career. But balancing work and home life is absolutely important as you’re getting into the swing of a new role. Keep working on it and keep adjusting for whatever season you’re in. It might always be a swinging pendulum that requires attention. Like if you have too much work or too much home life, you always have to be finding that balance and readjusting.

Lauren Tingle 12:35
The practice of setting boundaries no matter what season of life you’re in is so important so that you don’t burn out. Like I mentioned, I’ll add some extra episodes and blog posts in the show notes if you’re trying to get ahead of that burnout phase before you’re too deep into it.

Lauren Tingle 12:49
Lastly, let’s get you pumped up and excited for your new job with a pep talk. This is a really popular episode because it’s a great one to come back to time after time when you’re feeling down or you feel that impostor syndrome sneaking in. People have told me that this pep talk was the confidence boost they needed as they embarked on a new role. So let’s roll that clip.

Lauren Tingle 13:09
Okay, next new counselor friend. Just because you’re right doesn’t mean you don’t have amazing things to offer. You can be just as if not more confident in your role as a veteran counselor. Like those counselors have a lot to offer. But so do you, you have to be the one to decide on that mindset.

Lauren Tingle 13:27
You’re most certainly trained and ready for this position. You’ve read case studies, you’ve dove into journal articles, you’ve spent time hashing through tough scenarios, in your supervision classes with your classmates and your professors. You’ve got the head knowledge. So so much of what you have left to learn comes from what happens on the job.

Lauren Tingle 13:47
And listen, you have experience there too. Give yourself some credit. None of us veterans would say we know it all. There are a million ways each day can and will go. It’s not up to you to have every path forged already. You are going to live in the gray. I’ll say it again. So many of the scenarios in your high school counseling job are not going to be black and white. You might not have an answer, but the veteran down the hall might not have the answer either you will live in the gray.

Lauren Tingle 14:14
There’ll be so many situations that come up that you’ll still need help figuring out and that’s the fun of it. That’s one of the parts I love about this job. So you can truly be confident that you’re in the right place. Every one of us has started in the same shoes as you and we’ve lived to tell about it. You’re as prepared as you can possibly be right now.

Lauren Tingle 14:33
You do have so much to offer. Someone picked you specifically for this role. Others believed in you first when they hired you so go ahead and step into that greatness.

Lauren Tingle 14:44
Remember all of these episodes and more are on the new counselor playlist which can be found at The specific episodes and all the resources that I talked about in this episode are listed in the show notes.

Lauren Tingle 14:57
I hope this was helpful for you. I hope it was a call confidence boost and gave you some things to think about as you’re embarking on a new journey. I’m so excited for you. You’re going to love being a high school counselor. Thank you for sticking around my Counselor Clique world. And I hope that you can find a lot of resources that give you the confidence that you need to be a great high school counselor.

Lauren Tingle 15:39
I know that you will reach out into my DMs if you have any questions or tell me if this episode was helpful for you. I’ll see you next week.

Connect with Lauren:

Cheers + Happy Listening!

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