I’m jumping on a bandwagon of the best kind! I’m joining in on the #ReachHigher Photo Project to advocate for our profession and to show that ALL levels of school counseling are important! This project, created by Erin Mason at SCOPE, is a fantastic way to join the recent and, might I add, AWESOME advocacy for school counselors right now! Ever since First Lady Michelle Obama spoke about #ReachHigher at ASCA14, school counselors near and far are fired up for all the right reasons!
While #ReachHigher is geared toward increasing students’ college or post-secondary training readiness, elementary counselors lay the groundwork for this. We help students learn what it means to be a student and how to overcome challenges so they may access their education. Without elementary counselors, some students might be long gone (checked out) before they even reach high school.
Participating in the project is simple! Here’s what you need:
1. A goal that is specific and is geared toward increasing student achievement in some way at your school.
2. White paper (standard 8 1/2 x 11) and ink. Either write or type your goal on white paper, large and legible enough to be read by others. Start your goal with “I will #ReachHigher to…”
3. A camera and someone to take your picture while you hold up your paper. Make sure your paper is straight and that your smiling face can be seen clearly!
4. An email account to send your picture(s) to Erin Mason: firstname.lastname@example.org with “Reach Higher Photo Project” in the subject line. All photos must be sent to Erin by July 20, 2014.
Photos submitted by the deadline have a shot to be included in the slideshow that is being created for the college advising meeting on July 28th. The slideshow will also be available on SCOPE.
Okay, here are my contributions:
This goal says: I will #ReachHigher to increase the number of small groups I facilitate for 5th graders to help themselves improve their self-esteem and be ready to learn.
This goal says: I will #ReachHigher to increase the number of positive interactions among 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders to create classroom environments conducive to learning.
This goal says: I will #ReachHigher to increase the number of kindergarteners who use I-messages to solve conflict peacefully and contribute to a safe learning environment.
This goal says: I will #ReachHigher to increase the number of random acts of kindness completed for staff to create a culture of caring and empowered educators.
I also came up with other goals when planning for this project. Here are more examples of elementary school counseling goals, in case you need some ideas or inspiration for your own!
-I will #ReachHigher to increase the number of 4th and 5th grade student leaders who help resolve peer conflict peacefully.
-I will #ReachHigher to increase the number of staff-student connections to improve school climate and create a safe learning environment.
-I will #ReachHigher to increase the number of 3rd graders who set academic goals for themselves.
-I will #ReachHigher to increase the number of staff using restorative dialogue with students to maintain a safe and respectful learning environment in our school.
Check out School Counseling by Heart for more examples of elementary goals. I encourage you to participate too! Imagine all the wonderful goals we’ll have for ourselves when this project is complete!