Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Scheduling small groups

I guess it is a good thing that I have been (happily) running around so much at work, that I have neglected my blog baby! Life has been anything but calm these days, but I can't say I would wish for anything else. 

If I had a penny for every time I heard a teacher or administration say there isn't enough time, I would be a billionaire. We all know the importance of the counselor role and of social emotional learning, but sometimes it feels like there is just not enough time for small groups!

Personally, I don't feel appropriate pulling children from academic time. Most of the children that we are helping need to be in the classroom as much as possible. Before school and afterschool are times when we meet with teachers, which leaves very little wiggle room to run effective small groups. 

So when do we run these and how can they be effective?

The answer: LUNCH! 

Every day I run small groups between 11-1pm-our lunches are divided by grades (K,1/2,3/ 4,5,6).

I have part of my lunch before 11 o'clock and the rest of my lunch after 1 o'clock. This gives me some fuel to make it through without passing out, or getting "hangry". For the first lunch Bunch of the day I usually get the kids 5 to 7 minutes early so they can be the first in the lunch line and we can get them situated ASAP. Please see below for my schedule, hopefully this will help to give you some brainstorming ideas on when to have your groups!

  • Monday: 11:05-11:40, 11:40-12:10, 12:10-12:40-I "eat" lunch with the fourth fifth and sixth grade teachers. This works for two reasons: 1. I get to socialize with them, 2. I hear what is happening in their classrooms which helps me to help our kids:).
  • Tuesday: 11:05-11:40, 11:40-12:10, 12:10-12:40(teachers)
  • Wenesday:11:05-11:40, 11:40-12:10, 12:10-12:40(teachers)
  • Thursday 11:05-11:40-teachers And/or admin lunch 11:40-12:10, 12:10-12:40 small group with 4th. 
  • Friday- lunch with individual students who cannot be pulled out of academics, but need a mire substantial time with the counselor 

This is my schedule for six weeks then I will pull another group of students. I don't have more than two small groups per day because I think it is very important to spend time with the teachers each day. 

Hopefully this will get your mind moving on ways to maneuver around the lack of time in our work days!

"Time" to get moving (corny, I know),

Your Floridian Chick

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