Summer is the best time for me to do some professional development reading! While I have the best intentions of keeping up with PD books during the school year, it just doesn't seem to happen as often as I would like it to. In the summer, I love being able to leisurely make my way through some PD books with my coffee in hand... and a notebook, Flair pens, and post-it notes at my side...and likely a cat on my lap!
((This is why I get nothing done))
Throughout the school year, I gather books that sound interesting and add them to my Amazon wish list. I discover the books from school counselor blogs, the Elementary School Counselor Exchange on Facebook, and ASCA magazines. This summer, my goal is to make it through five PD books. I've heard great comments about each of these books and am excited to gather some new ideas for the school year.
I am most excited about reading The Use of Data in School Counseling because it will help to shape the framework of my school counseling program. I am hoping this book will give me more ideas about using data to support the needs of my school, which will help me to be more intentional about planning lessons. Here in Ohio, the Board of Education has decided that every school must adopt a standards-based school counselor evaluation system by September of this year. Something tells me that I am going to need to start collecting data, data, data.
Lost At School was recommended to me by the parent of one of the students I worked with last school year. The little guy was a 2nd grader with very low motivation and desire to come to school. His mom started reading the book in the spring and brought it to my office to share it with me (with tears in her eyes). She was only two chapters into the book and had already compiled a list of traits that described her child perfectly. I was sold and purchased the book that evening.
Parenting Tough Kids is a workbook filled with practical strategies for parents to use at home. I often have parents stop me to ask for advice in dealing with their child's challenging behavior. One of my future goals is to lead "coffee with the counselor" chats and I would love to be able to do a book study with parents. I am hoping that this may be a book I can recommend to parents for an easy, strategy-filled read. Chapter 7 is titled, "How to Build Your Child's Emotional Resilience" (I might be starting with that chapter)! If we can start to build more residence in kids, we can begin solving many problems.
How to Reach and Teach Children with Challenging Behavior is a great resource for teachers and counselors. I purchased this book mid-year because we have several new students with challenging behavior and our teachers are in need of resources and strategies! I am almost finished with this book and have found some practical strategies to share with teachers. I really like how the book examines common functions of students' behaviors (pg. 19). Here is their list:
-To get attention or reaction from peers or adults
-To get something tangible
-To get power or control
-To meet a sensory need
-To communicate feelings, wants, and needs
-As a result of a lack of understanding
-To escape or avoid something
So good! Another part of the book that I love is a section with strategies teachers can use with students during writing lessons (pg. 102...if you've been a classroom teacher, you know that writing assignments are often when you get some extreme behaviors)! I also really like the list of reinforces (pg. 124) and strategies for using reinforcers to motivate students. I am excited to finish this book!
My last summer read is Brief Counseling that Works. When I was working on my clinical counseling degree, solution-focused brief counseling (SFBC) was my "go to" theory. When I saw that there was a SFBC book designed for school counselors, I had to get it. SFBC is a great technique to use with elementary students because they are forward thinking. They want to talk about their problem and then solve it! This book offers good background knowledge about the effectiveness of SFBC and also goes much further in presenting practical techniques for school counselors.
There you have it, five books I am excited to read this summer! I have two more books that are on my summer bucket list, just in case I get all five of those read (slim chances...)! I haven't bought them yet, but I checked them out from the library to get a sneak peek. I've heard great comments about both. Here they are:
Happy reading, counselor friends!
If you have any books on your summer reading bucket list, please share them in the comments!
Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link for Amazon. By purchasing an item on Amazon using this link, I will receive a small commission. All recommendations are my own.