Much like the school nurse, I am responsible for the well-being of every child in my school regardless of whether or not she is technically on my caseload. Unfortunately, in a school with 500 students I have a lot who are on my caseload, and they keep me very busy. I often worry about those kids who may be quietly having a hard time but don't know who I am, what I do, or that I am available to help them.
So I was very psyched to come across the idea of Minute Meetings on a couple of school counselor websites. I don't know who first thought of them, but I'm giving credit to Andrea Burston and Danielle Schultz.
I e-mailed teachers telling them I'd like to spend 45 minutes or so with each of their classes. The first 5-10 minutes is for me to introduce myself to the class, and the remaining time is for me to sit in the hall and meet individually with students for literally about a minute each to ask a few get-to-know-you questions. In my schedule I set aside two blocks per week for Minute Meetings between now and Thanksgiving. I put an old-school (i.e., paper) sign-up sheet in the teachers' room. Since I'm quite new to the school and the previous counselor was not very visible in the building, the teachers were excited about the idea.
I created a survey form using Google Docs. When I'm done I'll be able to use Google Docs to sort the information I gather (yo, here's a golden opportunity for ever-lovin' DATA COLLECTION). You may notice that I'm asking some different questions than other counselors do in their Minute Meetings. For me, it's hugely important to know how connected kids feel at school, so I chose to focus on that.
This week I started with my first two classes. I took a bag with some of my "tools" (a book about feelings, a stress ball, a magic wand, and---of course---my celebrity sidekick Mr. Squishy). I used the props to explain what my job is in the building. I told them where my office is, as well as how they can request an appointment if they need one. Then I planted myself in the hall with my new tablet to hold the individual Minute Meetings.
A good time was had by all. The kids got a kick out of being able to punch in their answers on the tablet. I enjoyed sharing. And later, at recess time when the classes went by my office on their way to the playground, I heard a few excited voices saying, "There's her room!" and "Hey, I see Mr. Squishy!"
Best of all, I had a few kids who said yes, they have something they'd like to speak to me about. Without a Minute Meeting, I may never have connected with them. I feel good knowing that soon all 500 students will at least know who the heck I am and what I do, and will have the opportunity to ask for help. Awesome!
5/7/2014 10:10:30 am
5/7/2014 09:43:48 pm
8/20/2014 05:30:15 am
do you use survey monkey or another program to make your minute meeting on the computer?
8/20/2014 09:33:03 pm
I love the questions! I am a middle school counselor and have been wanting to do minute meetings for some time now. This is my first year at this school, but my fourth year as a middle school counselor. I am stealing your idea and using a google form to keep up with the information I glean. I will start on Thursday and be finished with grades 5-8 by Thanksgiving! Again, thank you for the inspiration.
11/11/2014 08:15:49 pm
8/31/2015 12:07:07 pm
I use google doc too and am having difficulty getting the form accessible to students. How do you all do it? Email, website link, etc. How do your kids get to the form, so that they can fill it out. I'm feeling challenged in this area. Help!
8/31/2015 09:35:53 pm
9/1/2015 12:18:29 pm
Does each student have to log into their account or do you have a link to the Google form on a website, in which then the form would appear and then they would click on their answers? I have 2 options at my site: manually enter 478 student emails or create a website for counseling and then post the link there. Both of which seem like very time consuming. How do you do it? Thanks for the clarification.
9/1/2015 09:21:34 pm
When I did it with my tablet, I was logged in to my own Google Drive, of course, so after each student filled it out and clicked Submit, I'd just then click on Enter new response (or whatever that one says). If trying to get kids to do it en masse, I would send a link to all of their e-mails. There *has* to be a way you can do that without having to enter them all by hand. Can you send the link to the school secretary and have her forward it to all students? The office must be able to do that easily.
8/3/2016 04:09:25 pm
Laurie, thank you so much for the shout out! I enjoy having the opportunity to meet with all my students for face to face check-ins.
8/3/2016 06:23:53 pm
Well you're brilliant, Andrea, what else can be said? Thank YOU for the inspiration!
3/7/2018 07:57:53 pm
Would you please share with me the survey you created..or how you created it with the design? I would like to use the same one you created! It is GREAT!!!
Leave a Reply.