Friday, April 27, 2012

A day in the life

In response to a comment posted by a graduate student, I'd like to share my daily schedule.  Oh wait, I don't have a daily schedule (kind of)!  As the only school counselor at my school of 500, I present classroom guidance once a month to each class, so I prepare a monthly calendar for guidance lessons.  I also start new groups each quarter.  The rest of my time is filled with individual counseling, planning, phone calls, conferences, touching base with students/teachers, and whatever else comes my way.  Just to give you a picture, I decided to provide you with my schedule for 2 different days (since every day is different!)  I usually make my schedule as I go.  Guidance and groups are already added in, and as I get referrals, I fill my schedule for students and other things.  Students give me their referrals (see my post Need to See the Counselor) and I plan according to need.  I like to have it all planned out for the day (which I keep track of using google calendar).  We operate on a block schedule, so there are only certain times I am allowed to pull kids to work with them (usually during their intervention/enrichment block).    I try to stick to my schedule, but of course, things come up! 

Schedule for Thursday, April 26:

7:20-7:40  Duty in the gym (we have walking club for early arrivals)
7:40-8:00  Prepare for my guidance lesson, hand out appointment passes
8:00-8:30  3rd grade guidance lesson on career pathways
8:30-9:00  Individual counseling with a 4th grader
9:00-9:30  Individual counseling with another 4th grader
9:30-10:30  Unscheduled time--Planning, following up with phone calls, updating my notes, working on Tier paperwork, responding to anything that comes up
10:30-11:00  Individual counseling with 3rd grader
11:00-11:30  Individual counseling with another 3rd grader
11:35-12:05  3rd grade test anxiety group
12:05-1:00   Lunch (I always make a point to schedule this, or else I won't eat), meeting with teachers, following up with students as things come up
1:00-1:30  5th grade test anxiety group
1:40 - 2:10  4th grade guidance lesson on stress
2:10-2:30 Follow up phone calls, touch base with teachers, update my notes, and  check in on students
2:30-3:00  Individual counseling with 1st grader
3:00-3:15  Kids dismiss
3:15-4:15  Faculty Meeting

Schedule for Friday, April 27

7:30-8:30  Planning for day, preparing for 5th grade guidance, hand out my appointment passes
8:35-9:35  5th grade guidance lesson on test anxiety/strategies  (5th grade classes rotate, so I presented to 2 classes in this time)
9:35-10:05  Checked in with teachers, made some phone calls, prepared for students
10:05-10:35  5th grade guidance lesson on test anxiety/strategies (the last rotation)
10:35-11:05  Individual counseling on divorce with a 3rd grader
11:05-11:35  Individual counseling with another 3rd grader
11:45-12:15  3rd grade test anxiety group
12:15-12:30  Checked in with a student briefly...will make an appointment with her next week, but gave her some strategies to try in the mean time.
12:30-1:00  Lunch, planning, responsive services, updating notes, added above student to my calendar
1:00-1:30  Individual counseling with 5th grader
1:40-2:10  4th grade classroom guidance on stress
2:20-2:50  Social skills small group (1st grade)
3:00-3:30 (or usually later...) Dismissal, planning for next week, following up with teachers, catching up on notes for the day, etc.


  1. Thank you so much! I think school counseling is the career path I'm going to take. :)

  2. great! It can be intense at times, but if its something you have a passion for, it's all worth while

  3. Reading this post is really awesome experience. i gain really informative information. really appreciate this blogger..
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  4. Wow. great scheduling.. But i feel friday scheduling is not much good, because of weekend.. Any way thanks for your info at this time.. College Search

  5. Hi Traci.. I'm so glad I found your blog! I'm a counselor in India and this profession or even the idea of a School Counselor is still so new. Our school has about 2000+ students and I am the only counselor there (most Indian schools still don't have a counselor) and a part-time one too. I would really appreciate your input about how often in a school year/week do you hold guidance classes and small groups? You did mention once a month; is this the standard? Thank you for all your posts again! :)

  6. I'm so glad you have enjoyed reading my blog. I wish I had more time for posts. I think each school district is different as far as how often classroom guidance lessons are presented in the classrooms. Most of the elementary school counselors in my district are the same as me--they go in once a month. Sometimes I go in more than that to help co-teach on a specific topic during wildcat team time if that is something the class needs help with. As far as small groups, it really depends on student need. Sometimes I will have 2-3 groups a day, other times, I won't have as many.

  7. Thank you so very much Traci. That really helps me organize my work a little better. And all your posts are of SUCH a huge help!!! Thanks again.. really appreciate all your work!

  8. Hi Traci! Thank you so much for this post. I am a visual learner and it is so helpful to see your schedule. How does your schedule look at the beginning of the year. Do you have groups on certain days? How do you schedule your guidance lessons and are they just on certain days? Are you the SST, 504 leader as well as the campus Test Coordinator. I struggle to get it all in and the guidance is what gets let out.