Top 6 Things Every School Counselor Needs

This school year marks the start of my second year as a school counselor. One of the things I have learned is that building and gathering resources is an ongoing process. Today I want to share with you the top 6 things that I could not do without as a beginning school counselor. These items are the bare minimal things that get me through the school year even though I am still collecting and developing my school counselor program.

6 things every school counselor needs

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    1. School Counselor Binder: I don’t know what I would do without my School Counselor Binder! This binder keeps me organized and on top of important meetings and appointments. There are a ton of options out there but I created one that is simple and easy to use and what I love the most is the fact that the cover pages can be colored in. Included in this binder are monthly calendars, weekly schedule, students to see list, and a notes section. This Zentastic School Counselor Binder can be purchased from my TpT Store or my Etsy StopSchool Counselor Binder
    2. Games & Things: There are lots of ordinary household games that you may have at home and can be used in your school counseling program. All you have to do is “tweak” the rules and make it age appropriate so that it meets the needs of your students. The following are just a few (and I do mean a few) of my favorite games and things.
      • Jenga is a perfect counseling game and is very easy to adapt. Add questions or statements to the blocks or even color-code the blocks and create matching color-coded cards with talking points or questions on them. Turn Jenga into a social skills game or conversation starter that is perfect for small groups of younger students. The Recreation Therapy Ideas site has great instructions on how to turn Jenga into a counseling resource. Find other great ideas on Pinterest.
      • Uno is another great game that can be adapted into a great ice-breaker when working with individual students or small groups. Jaclyn Watson has a great “Getting to Know You” companion for Uno. Get it for free on her TpT Store.
      • Legos! Who doesn’t love Legos? They inspire creativity and are a great resource for calming students and getting them to open up. The Lego Ideas Book has plenty of instructions for building and creating some great things with Legos making the two a great combination for any school counseling program.
      • Play Doh is one of my favorites. I use it to make what I call “Squishies” with the kids. That’s what I call these stress balls since they feel squishy. The kids love making them. All you need is Play Doh, Balloons, and Sharpies to make faces on them. Just stretch the balloon open with your fingers while the student stuffs pieces of Play Doh into it.




    3. Books: I love collecting books. You can find books to purchase everywhere. I managed to find some books at 2nd Charles for free. If you don’t have a 2nd Charles franchise where you live, check your local thrift store or yard sales. It is important to build a library that will help you improve your counseling program as well as books to use for lessons and with students. You can also check Pinterest to find resourceful lessons and activities to go along with some of these books.
    4. Pinterest Boards: I get a ton of great ideas from Pinterest. It is a great resource for sharing school counseling ideas and for inspiration. I even find things that I share with the teachers. Check out my School Counselor Pinterest Board.
    5. Paper, Pencils, & Crafts…Oh My: Arts and crafts are definitely a must have. I keep a stash of goodies on the table in my office that I use when meeting with students. Be sure to stock up on the following items:
    6. Smell Goods: With students coming in and out of your office, it can become stinky at times. Most schools have restrictions on Plug-Ins and Melting Pots. But there is a great solution to that, wooden reeds! They are decorative and help my office stay up to code while keeping fresh. Hand sanitizes in different scents can be calming too. They cost very little at Bath and Body Works. Having an upset student rub some on their hands and taking in the sweet scent can be relaxing. Try a lavender or eucalyptus mint scent.

I hope you find this list helpful. Keep in mind, this is my opinion on the top 6 must haves for new school counselors. Do you have a list of resources you want to share? Leave a comment!

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Read terms of use here.

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