Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Great Ways for Counselors to Stay Connected with Each Other

By:  Patrick O'Connor Ph.D

Every year you make the same promise.  This is going to be the year you won’t feel isolated in your work as a school counselor.  You may be the only counselor in your building, but this is the year you’re going to connect to other counselors, and stay connected.

And then, September 15th comes by, and you wonder what happened to that promise.

This year really can be the exception to the rule—and you don’t even have to leave your office.  Take ten minutes to sign up for these online counselor support resources, and you’ll find more resources at your fingertips than there are schedule changes in the first week of school.

E-mail  Your introduction to the high tech world of counselor support begins with the old school world of e-mail.  First, while this article is being published in HS Counselor Network, there’s a chance some of you have stumbled upon it without subscribing to this great weekly resource, which is sent for free by e-mail to subscribers during the school year. Editor Gene Kalb scours the news for items of interest to all involved with high school counseling issues; this is your one-stop source for all the news that matters to high school counselors.  Subscribe to your regional edition at  

The National Association for College Admission Counseling offers the NACAC Exchange for any individual working with students in the college process.  Counselors from high schools and middle schools are active participants, as are college admission officers and other college advisers.  I once went to the Exchange with a question and came back with an answer—from India.  Best of all, it’s free.  Sign up at

Facebook  (www.facebook.comThe kids may have given up on Facebook, but that just leaves more room for us grown-ups to play.  Most of these groups are private, which means you have to contact the administrator of the site to request to be added—and in most cases, they’ll let you in once you let them know where you work.
Sign up for one or more of these groups by typing the name of the group in the Facebook search box—the next page will have a Join Group button you click:

Elementary School Counselor Exchange
Creative Elementary School Counselor
Caught in the Middle School Counselors
The Middle School Counselor
High School Counselors’ Network
College Admissions Counselors
Women in College Admission Counseling
The Counseling Geek

Twitter  (www.twitter.comThe social media site that limits posts to 140 characters can be a counselor’s best friend. It sometimes requires some creativity to keep a post to that demanding limit, but with a little practice, your posts can be as inviting and creative as the seasoned Twitterer.
The real challenge with Twitter is finding the groups.  Since they’re all open, you don’t have to join—but you do have to go looking for them.  If you type in #scchat in the Search Twitter box, you’ll see all of the postings school counselors have left for other school counselors.  To post something yourself, just make sure you add the phrase #scchat to any post you make.

Many groups will “meet” on Twitter to do real-time discussions on a specific topic.  A great description of how to participate in a Twitter chat can be found at  For now, sign up for a Twitter account, and do some counseling searches, with these group names (all Twitter groups start with a #)—these will lead you to more:

#scchat (school counselors)
#escchat (elementary counselors)
#mscchat (middle school counselors)
#hsschat (high school counselors)
#ReachHigher (White House Initiative on College Access)

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