Monday, January 25, 2016

Graduated Wisdom (ALUMNI): Building Connections With All Students Guidance Lesson

Guidance Topic: Student Connection and School Climate
Age Level: Staff

Objective: Illustrate bond between staff and students, focusing on engagement and belonging to community. TSWBAT: identify multiple students they interact with regularly but do not include in community.

Counseling Standards Met: XX

Materials Needed:

  • Stickers, Markers, or Stamps (or equivalent)
  • Complete roster of enrolled students
  • Paper or Index Cards
  • Display Board

Lesson (30 - 35 minutes): 
To start with:

"Before lesson, set up a display with full student roster (or grade level, if grade level presentation), leaving room for staff to mark which students they are connected to. This is the crux of the entire presentation." 
  1. Break the Ice - highlight purpose of lesson (including goals), and introduce materials and procedure. 
    1. Which students are we connecting with? Ask yourself why you connect with these students?
    2. Who are we connecting with, but not as well as we could? What is the barrier that is holding us back from connecting with these students?
    3.  How are we connecting with our students? Is this a part of our growth goals?
    4. Why is it important to construct an inclusive and inviting community at school?
  2. Growth Factor: All students are capable of finding connections to school. 
core of lesson: 
Do not forget to have staff create ways of identifying connection to student (I will use staff initials on dot stickers). Example: 

After explaining lesson and fielding questions, release staff to browse student names and mark appropriately. Be sure to monitor the clock and circulate to offer encouragement and answer questions. Emphasize that it is OK to not connect to a student and that if unsure of connection, error on the side of no connection.

After an appropriate time, call staff back to their seats and continue with lesson (I estimate 1 minute per 10-30 students, but modify as appropriate with your site).

Once data has been collected, organize students by connection; highlight some of the students with a greater connection and identify what makes them significant. Identify students with peripheral connection, but no strong engagement. 

Conclude by addressing students with minimal to no connection to the school. What are these students like? Do they have a reputation in the school? What is their reputation? Are there barriers to the student connection?

Finish with a crash course in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Give staff homework, connect with at least one student they are not strongly connected to that week.

Homework: Take home at least one name and work to build a connection with student. 

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