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Monday, July 31, 2017

How School Counselors Use Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind means that we should have a plan or set goals to achieve the outcome we desire.

School counselors use Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind in the following ways: 
  • Counseling Goals: As school counselors, we come up with goals for students that we meet with on an individual basis. We think about what we want our students to get out of counseling. It holds us accountable as well. Ideally, we would enlist our students for help to establish counseling goals. We want our students to take responsibility for their own behavior and learning (Habit 1: Be Proactive). Having students help come up with the goals for counseling will make them more invested in counseling. 
  • Group Goals: We also think about the purpose and goal of our groups. For example, if you're running a coping skills group, what do you want students in this group to have learned by the end of their time with you? You'll establish session goals for each week and an overall goal for the skills you hope students learn from participating in your group. You can come up with these goals before the group starts, but it doesn't hurt to ask your students what they would like to learn in the first session. This way you still have the opportunity to address any topics your students want to learn about. 
  • Core Curriculum Goals: When you work on your lesson plans, your plans should include lesson objectives or goals for what you want students to have learned by the end of your lesson. 
  • School Year Goals: We should set SMART goals for what we would like to accomplish over the school year at the beginning of the year and reflect on it at the end of the year to determine if you successfully accomplished your goal. If you share your goal with your principal at the beginning of the year, you can use it as a conversation piece for your mid-year and end-of-year evaluations. This goal will be about something you want to accomplish externally (i.e., do class lessons more often, come up with a SWPBS program, etc.). 
  • Goals as a Counselor: Counselors should come up with a goal that they would like to accomplish for improving their professional practice at the beginning of each school year. They should reflect on this goal at the end of the year to determine if they have met it. Think about what you want to improve on for next school year. Consider what areas of counseling you have room to grow. This goal will be internal (i.e., use of technology, 504 procedures, ethics and law, solution-focused brief counseling, etc.). 
  • Career Goals: Counselors determine the path they want their career to take. This is about what you want to accomplish in your school counseling career. Do you want to work toward RAMP status? Do you dream of being school counselor of the year? Do you want to be a department head at your school or supervisor of school counselors in your district? Do you want to become an adjunct professor or counselor educator? Do you want to run for ASCA's board of directors? Do you want to lead a session at an ASCA conference? Dream Big!
School Counselors use Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind with students through: 
  • Class Lessons: We teach students how to set goals during our core curriculum. You could do a lesson on personal/social or academic goals, or both! Maybe during your Career lesson, you could talk to students about setting goals to get to the career they are interested in. 
  • Groups: During Transition or Academic Groups, we can teach students how to set goals on their own. We might also teach students to set goals in Self-Esteem and Coping Skills Group. 
  • Individual Counseling: When we meet with students, we ask for their input in setting short-term counseling goals. No matter what the topic is (i.e., personal/social, academic, or career). 
  • We might make behavior goals for students when we come up with a Positive Behavior Support Plan chart based off of FBA data. 
🙋 What are your goals for next school year? What are your career goals? How do you use Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind with your students? Let me know in the comments! 

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