Summer is starting and the students will soon be gone – or they already are! Once the excitement of graduation is behind you, it’s the perfect time to reflect on last year and get ready for September. Here are three things you can do to wrap the year up right – and you’ll have no regrets in September!
Report: Keep track of your progress! Here are three ways you can track the effectiveness of the career elements of your counseling program:
- What tasks did you want students to accomplish? These might include completing an interest assessment, saving a career cluster, building a plan of study or saving scholarships. Use the Reporting tab in the Professional Center to track student completion of over 40 different activities. You can filter by grade level, gender and more. If you’re using an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) you can track overall progress.
- Did students get value out of your career and academic planning activities? If students are still in school, ask them to complete a survey or simple questionnaire about their experiences. Use the results to make adjustments for next year.
- Did you meet or exceed your standards? Whether you primarily focus on American School Counselor Association (ASCA) standards, state standards, or local standards, track which ones you’ve met. I like to highlight the standards that I’ve thoroughly met in one color, those that I’ve partially met (or only some students have met) in a second color, and the standards I still need to meet in a third color. Write down ideas to meet the missing standards next year. Remember – the lesson plans in the Resources section in the Professional Center are aligned with the ASCA standards. They can help you meet your goals.
Reflect: Let’s look back with a hands-on activity – you can do it with a pencil and paper or on a computer. Divide a page into thirds. In the first column, list all of the career and academic programs or activities that you completed. In the second column, list the things that went well. Did a student make good life choices? Did you have a high level of completion of activities? In the third column, list what you’d like to improve on next year. Do you need to start planning sooner or involve more of the staff? Strategize with your team on how you can make improvements next year. Be sure to write it down!
Plan ahead: Create a priority list for each of the following:
- Tasks or activities you’d like students to meet next year. The ILP is a great way to organize, assign and track those activities!
- Standards or benchmarks you need to meet.
- Program areas you’d like to improve.
Write out a detailed “to do” list for meeting your top priorities for next year. You might want to break it down by months, card markings, or semesters. Share it with your team so that when summer ends you’re ready to get the school year off to a great start!