A Recap of Your Favorite Episodes of High School Counseling Conversations [Episode 52]


Here's What to Expect In This Episode:

We’re quickly approaching a new year, and I wanted to bring in some FUN as we begin to wrap up 2022. Today I’m sharing five favorite episodes from High School Counseling Conversations. 

These are the most listened to episodes from 2022, with the exception of the number one most popular episode. I’ll be revealing that top episode in a couple of weeks when I re-air it on the podcast!

In this episode, you’ll hear some highlights from these most-listened-to episodes. I’ll share an introduction and then give you an audio clip to listen to. If it sounds like an episode that you’d love to hear the full version of, then go check it out! I have all of the episodes mentioned linked below for you.

Are one of these five episodes your all-time favorite? Let me know by taking a screenshot of your favorite, adding it to your Instagram stories, and tagging me @counselorclique. I’d love to know!

Topics Covered in This Episode:

  • Your favorite episodes of High School Counseling Conversations, revealed!
  • Where to begin if you’re starting small groups from scratch
  • Different ways that you can use data with your small groups
  • What it takes to learn, grow, and invest in yourself as a high school counselor
  • Practical ways to advocate for your high school counseling program
  • How to efficiently host a senior parent info night, and the benefits of doing so
  • Avoiding the comparison game when it comes to your high school counselor office
  • A list of supplies that you actually need (and will use) in your office

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Read the transcript for this episode:

Hi there, you’re listening to Episode 52 of High School Counseling Conversations. I wanted to our December to have some fun episodes in it. And here we are still bringing the fun. In today’s episode I’m recapping your top five most listened to episodes of 2022.

Well, all of them except the number one episode. So I will explain how we’re doing that. I’ll re air that episode as our last one of 2022 You know, like a 3-2-1 countdown for the new year. We’ll get to that in a couple of weeks.

Other than the welcome trailer and intro episodes, here are my top five or really two through six most popular episodes. I’ll give you a little intro to them and then I’ll give you an audio clip of them. If you’re interested in listening to the whole episode, then head back and do a go give it a listen. Use your winter break to do exactly what you want. And do that exactly when you want to.

High School Counseling Conversations is a podcast where we talk about exactly that. A casual potpourri of school counseling topics intended to grow us as school counselors, but also give us space to enjoy each other’s company. I’m Lauren from counselor, click and I’m sharing my experiences and perspectives as a high school counselor. No topic is off limits.

Let me start with two honorable mentions. We won’t add any sound clips in here for these ones. But number six, and seven of our top episodes were right on the heels of number five. So they’re worth mentioning. Episode 33 was a guest episode with Liz who is a current member of the Clique Collaborative.

She joined the membership last January and she shared her story of being a math teacher turned a high school counselor who got a job mid year at the school she was already working at talk about a wild ride.

Then honorable mentioned number two was a pep talk to new school counselors. That was episode 22. I got a lot of great feedback on this one. So then I had to just go ahead and put together a pep talk for general high school counselors, not new ones, back when the school year was starting in August. That was episode 37. If you need a pep talk heading into second semester, I get that.

Let’s get into our top five episodes well minus number one. So I guess it’s episode six, we’ll count down to episode two. And I’ll give you a little sound clips from each of those. We’ll save number one for the week of December 26. Coming in at number six was three ideas for starting high school counseling small groups from scratch.

In this episode, I discuss some of the roadblocks and things that feel really daunting before you ever get started with small groups like teacher and staff buy in and how to know which topics to pursue with your students. We also discussed prepping yourself to use data from the beginning to the end of this process to inform where you want to go, and then how to share the results with everybody else after you’ve been there.

You should listen to this episode if it’s in the back of your mind to get some small groups up and running. And if you’ve been looking for the inspiration to do just that. Let’s jump into a clip from that episode.

If you’re going to be starting small groups from scratch, and you’re wondering where to even begin, I want you to set up a framework from the beginning that you are going to use data in all aspects of your small groups. Small groups are the perfect place to grab and compile and share data from.

So especially when counselors are like how do I use data in my program? How do I create a data driven program? That’s like big picture, I want you to zoom in and think small groups are the key to providing data that shows how students change because of what I do.

So use it before you even put your groups together, as you come up with ideas of what small groups you want to run or validate your own ideas based on your observations in the school. Put out a needs assessment and see what comes of it and then act on it.

Another way that you can use data with your small groups is to observe or just take informal polls from students as you’re doing classroom lessons. As you’re telling students about your role when you’re in your classroom lessons, or you’re in there doing a lesson completely about something different, like academics or something.

You can sprinkle some stuff in there about the first generation small group that you did, because you’re talking about college or you can sprinkle some things in there about the stress management group that you did, because everyone’s stressed about what they’re going to do in their post secondary life.

Start planting seeds of small groups, whether that’s in an individual meeting with the student or in the classroom setting so that when you put out information about small groups, it’s not the first time that they’re hearing about it and it’s something familiar.

It makes it easier to reference back to once you get started. And when you start using data and you find success in your small group counseling program, it is so natural to take that to compile it and then share it with others. It makes what you’re doing way more meaningful. And isn’t that your goal of everything that you’re doing anyways?

Moving on to number five, how to invest in yourself so that you make a lasting impact on students, which was episode 29. I think it’s safe to assume that a lot of counselors are here to make a difference in students lives with that level of impact that they can bring.

We want to see students grow, learn and change for the better. You as a high school counselor are in such a place of influence with your students, I don’t have to tell you that twice. This is a great episode for self reflection over winter break to truly drill down on your own perspective on your own growth and not just your students growth.

Like with anything that involves work, there’s always going to be some sacrifice along the way. So this episode discusses what some of the sacrifices might be, don’t worry, they’re not scary, just super practical. Take a listen to this episode and see if the risks of personal growth outweigh the comforts of staying stagnant. I think you’ll really enjoy it. Here’s a clip from Episode 29 for you.

Being committed to learning and growing is hard, because there’s a cost involved. In order to learn and grow, you’re giving something or some things up, you’re giving up your time, whether it’s to watch videos, read a book, or listen to a podcast, you’re multitasking or you’re putting something else off that you could be doing that’s not work related. I get that. Let’s acknowledge that it is a sacrifice.

Maybe it’s something you’re putting your own money behind, or that your school is investing in you and they plan on you coming back having grown in some sort of way. That’s an amazing confidence they have in you and in your growth mindset. I love that.

Learning something new also involves energy. It might be changing the way you’ve always done something like you want to learn to be more organized in a digital sense and use less paper. Not saying this is something you must do just using it as an example. That’s gonna take a lot of practice, it’s not gonna feel natural at first.

What about deciding that you’re going to start tracking your time as a high school counselor because it could lead to more clearly stated advocacy efforts, which could then lead to more direct hours with students, and hence more impact. See where I’m going with this?

I guarantee you’ll be going out of your way to look for these opportunities are specifically created for high school counselors. And you’re gonna be giving of yourself in some way whether it’s your time, your money, your energy, your comfortability, in order to see the change. But remember that this commitment will bring a lasting impact on students and that’s worth it right.

I’m pausing this episode to let you know something fun and valuable that’s coming. Doors to the Clique Collaborative, my high school counseling membership are opening again to welcome new members on January 18. During the month of January, you could expect regular weekly episodes of high school counseling conversations, plus a challenge to help get you ready for the new year.

I’ll offer three live workshops throughout the month to help set you up for success as the second half of the year starts. Be sure you’re on the click collaborative waitlist to be the first to hear of all of these plans. Go to cliquecollab.com to join the waitlist today.

Now we’ve made our way to number four, and this episode is super timely yet again. It’s called resetting yourself in the new year. This episode takes us all the way back to episode two. If you’re needing that major reset, stay tuned for January’s episodes like this coming January’s episodes, but also listen to this one which aired last January.

It’s time to challenge the status quo of this is how it’s always been done or ponder your direction for the new year. This episode will definitely get you in the right frame of mind for 2023 Even though it was recorded almost one year ago. Take a listen to this bit of audio from Episode Two from the humble beginnings of high school counseling conversations.

Be willing to advocate for your high school counseling program. Do you have dreams of having a small or tiny caseload? Start collecting to show the needs of your students and your department and your school. Advocating definitely takes a boldness that I know you have in you standing up for what’s right for what you believe for what you know students need.

Shout about the great things you’re already doing in your school counseling program. share these things with your administrators with your advisory council your teachers and your community advocating can be put on the backburner because it often feels forward thinking while you have so many other things that you’re trying to juggle and you’re barely keeping your head above water. Or maybe even worse, you actually feel like you’re drowning.

The more you advocate though, the better the balance gets. I promise you’re taking steps forward every time you do a little PR for your high school counseling program. Being willing to advocate for your program as you step into the new year is an extremely meaningful way to reset yourself this month.

The third most popular episode, which really doesn’t surprise me was episode 39, Running Senior Meetings Like a Boss. I like the title of this one, I need to keep up that sass when naming episodes because that was fun. Y’all are the bosses of school counseling.

And I love seeing how empowered you are when you have the right tools in your hands, the right systems in place, and the right mindset to conquer at all. I know we hear a lot about minute meetings in high school counseling. But these senior meetings are longer individual or with parent type meetings to plan for life after high school.

So in this episode, I give tips for running these meetings with efficiency and effectiveness. Because these are things that I personally care about a ton. And I bet as a counselor with very limited time, you care a ton about this to enjoy this snippet from Episode 39.

I would always host a senior parent info night as early as possible, get it on the calendar, because those parents and students are knocking down your door to get the answers that they need. I found that if I don’t hold this meeting early enough, in the year, I was answering the same questions over and over again. I

f you’ve been around here for any amount of time, again, I’ll always say I really value efficiency. I hate wasting my time, there is so much to do already and not enough hours in the day that I cannot possibly spend my whole day answering the same question to all 400 senior parents via email.

So here’s where I say start with a large scale senior info meeting where you invite all the parents super early in the year. Put it on your calendar during the summer so that you have that date cemented into your head when they start asking open house or when they pick up their schedules.

I like to say that this meeting is for all the information that pertains to everyone in that senior class, the timelines the general financial aid questions, the processes for things like applications and transcripts, then as soon as we’re done with that, we open up signups for individual meetings.

I tell them that by coming to that big meeting helps get the information out to everyone so that you can ask your personal questions or have those personal questions written down during the individual meeting. And then that individual meeting is more effective and more personalized for the family.

In a more real behind the scenes kind of way, it helps me enjoy those meetings a ton more. I think I’m partial to working with seniors anyway, I love them. But having more individual type meetings here helped me not feel like every day or every meeting is Groundhog Day.

If you’re not having individualized meetings, I just think that you can be saying the same thing over and over again, because everyone has very similar questions in an overarching way. And that’s the information that you can give out to everyone.

The meetings then become really fun and unique, where you get to see students personalities, hear their goals and help them finalize the path that they need to get to that place. So with that senior meeting, I do a big presentation where I can link you in the show notes, the Senior Planning presentation, where you can add to it if you need to.

But I sort of lay out the flow for the meeting, picture it like in an auditorium with a big screen lots of people. And I lay that out so that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. When that meeting is finished, I would open up the signup slots for individual meetings. You can do this with signup genius. And I like this because it ensures that they receive a reminder email.

This can be a lot, especially if you have a big caseload or big group of students or families that you’re working with. But it just felt like having people pick their own meeting time ensures that they show up, they remember and they show up and they’re not trying to constantly change their meeting time.

So obviously you have to align that to your schedule, but they’re more likely to show up when they’ve picked their time I found in my personal experience. Now not all parents come to these planning meetings. And sometimes it’s just for students. And that is okay, if anything that is who it’s for.

I’m never going to have a student parent meeting without the student present. So if parents forget, I still meet with the students. I rarely reschedule these, if I have a ton of students. I would do these meetings for 30 minutes each. I would not go over that if we need to reschedule another time or a follow up meeting, we could do that. But I would not plan it for over 30 minutes.

It requires a ton of back end planning that those showing up to the meeting don’t see so it is hard to be flexible with changing and rescheduling. They just don’t realize how much work goes into it. If students don’t sign up for a meeting, I’ll assign them a meeting time and then get that word out to them. Again, it’s a lot of planning for just these meetings, but I do think that it’s worth it.

Now the top episode of this recap, it’s the number two most listened to episode of high school counseling conversations of 2022 Do you know what it is? It’s episode 32 Back to School tips for high school counselors: office prep.

This episode has all of the goodness in it that you never stopped to think about it any other part of the school year. It forces you to look around and examine your space before another tornado hits it or another stack of papers piles up under your desk.

In episode 32 I talk about the night to have things for your office and some of those essential non negotiables as well. If you hear me talk about any physical items that you want to learn more about in this episode, I do have an Amazon storefront with lots of office stuff linked. To get to that, just go to amazon.com/shop/counselorclique. Let me share a bit of that episode with you here.

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, 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. 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 offense in the middle of a session. These things do not make sense for a counselor’s office space.

Next, you’ve got to make your office work for you. You don’t have to have an extreme office makeover and get this place all glammed up the moment you moved in. Transform it slowly and let it work for you. Your space needs to be practical, I think in a high school more than anywhere else that this is really absolutely true.

Do you need a filing cabinet to store file folders for all your students? Yes, probably. And they can be so ugly and take up so much space, but it’s probably a non negotiable once you get into it. And there are ways to make that prettier. So don’t panic just yet.

So maybe unlike an elementary school counselor who has a big ‘ol classroom space, like maybe you don’t have the space to have a big beanbag chair in your tiny office or a whole couch for students to lay on. Some of you might and that’s awesome. But some of you don’t. And you just have to work with what you have, and make it work for you.

From personal experience, the way I set up my office was really standard. I really don’t think it was like anything out of the ordinary. I love change. And I love you know, shaking things up. But I honestly never move things around in my office once I got them set up. Like your days are too crazy.

I always talking about this, but I would have like a bulletin board up for more than two years because I couldn’t find the time to go pull the things down and put something new up. Imagine the same for the office, I would never rearrange just because that’s like nothing I’d ever make a priority. I had my desk and my rolly chair. And then I had two other main chairs that like came with the school building on the other side of my desk.

And then I had one fun pattern chair from target that honestly wobbled a little and made adults really nervous when they plopped down in it. But I like how it looked in my office. And it was another place to sit. So I kept it. I am not the most organized person. And so I do commend high school counselors who are. So I’m just here to tell you and be honest and transparent that my desk was constantly full of sticky notes and stacks of papers.

So in terms of like things I needed in my office, it was really important for me to always have basic desk supplies flowing, good pens that I liked writing with, sticky notes, washi tape to hang important reference sheets on my walls, like the bell schedule and phone numbers around the school.

I needed a quality stapler, I needed tacks, highlighters, like all the office things, all that good stuff. I also loved having a basket of fidgets right there on my desk because even if a student wasn’t sitting there using them, I would catch myself using them when I was on the phone. So it’s something a win win for everyone, really.

I hope you enjoyed hearing some recaps and snippets of my most popular episodes of 2022. I still absolutely cannot believe I’ve been doing this thing for a whole year and we’re about to celebrate a birthday with this podcast! Wahoo!

Join me next week for a fun episode with Rebecca Joyner of it’s not rocket science, where we chat about counselor teacher partnerships and bring some laughter to your air pods, I hope. Then the following week, I’ll be introducing and re airing my most popular episode from the year.

I’ll just let you sit in that anticipation and get yourself ready for the next two weeks. I hope you’re gearing up for a restful winter break and I’ll talk to you soon.

Thanks for listening to today’s episode of high school counseling conversations. All of the links I talked about today can be found in the show notes and also at counselorclique.com/podcast.

Be sure to hit follow or subscribe wherever you listen to your podcast so that you never miss a new episode. Connect with me over on Instagram, send me a DM @counselorclique. That’s C-L-I-Q-U-E.

Thanks so much for hanging out with me. I’ll see you next time.

Connect with Lauren:

Cheers + Happy Listening!

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