180 days. It seems like school just started. Well, maybe it seems like an eternity ago. However, your feeling, though, there are a few things to do before heading for summer and prepping for next year.
1. Gather your data. Put together an End Of Year Counseling Report. Include the number of lessons you taught, the number of students you saw, the total number of groups you ran, referrals to community programs, crisis responses you attended to, or whatever other pertinent data you feel like stakeholders should know. Then Schedule a little meeting with your admin or director and review those numbers. It can be pretty eye opening to see. I have a template you can use and make your own. . .you just need to subscribe to my newsletter to access the download.
2. Wrap up your counseling sessions. Remember to also use a post test to see if students learned the key objectives you have been working on. Send evaluations to teachers and parents to collect feedback on if they saw any improvements in confidence, attendance, behavior, grades, etc over the course of the year. But don’t forget to do something fun with your students too. Remember transitions can be really hard for some students and while some are excited not to come to school for a while, others will struggle. I always like to do some kind of termination activity. . .it could be a group picture in a frame everyone signs, or autograph books, bracelets, magnets, necklaces. . .it doesn’t have to be much, but a little token of your time together is a special souvenir.
3. Organize your materials. I like to have kids help me with this. This is where I go through all my stuff and toss out broken, doesn’t work, completely gross, or all used up stuff. Kids LOVE checking to make sure glue sticks aren’t crusty and markers still color. I also like to pull any lessons I think I will want to start with next year and place them in the front section of my file cabinet so I am not searching for them when school starts and I’m being pulled in 18 directions at once. This might be a good time to clean up your google drive as well. Put things into folders, and give some sort of order to all the things.
4. Reflect. Spend some good quality time on this one. What went well, what didn’t. What would you want to do again, and what needs an overhaul. Think about this for every part of the job your do. From your own record keeping and data collection measures, to the groups you ran, classes you taught and programs you ran. What teams were you a part of? How did they run? Were they efficient? What needs work there? Or what went really well and is there things you can take with you to other areas of your job? Reflection is such a critical part of building a solid comprehensive program. But don’t just think about this, write it down. Do a brain dump, and then shift through it and make a plan to make something better.
5. Work on your annual calendar and curriculum map. These things are ever changing. . .especially because student needs change, but also because of that reflection piece we just talked about. I know sometimes I decide to teach lessons in a different order because after I reflect on it, I think it flows better or would be more beneficial for students if I taught one concept before another. Maybe I realized I need to start my holiday help program earlier because I felt like I was scrambling to get it done, maybe I want to add in something in the Spring because I did something in the fall that went over so well, it needs a follow up. Building a framework, not only gives you a structure, but it makes it intentional. Intention creates impact. Impact changes lives. That’s good stuff.
What else do you do to wrap up your year? I’d love to hear from you and find out what you do.