Group Counseling Corner

Our group counseling sessions have been revolving around communication for the past couple of weeks. Topics have included formal communication, phone communication, communicating our feelings, and even communicating during stressful situations like a job interview! The students have done very well. They enjoy role playing these situations and are improving their communication with others in the class at the same time. Win-win!

Interviews – Starting and Joining Conversations
One way that we practiced starting and joining conversations was by having the students engage in interviews. This was a role play, so the students did not dress up or make it really formal, but we took it very seriously and would end the interview if students were being silly or otherwise not taking it seriously. Everybody did very well! As I do with every lesson I create, every student from third grade to grade 12+ engaged in the same lesson with modifications for age/ability level wherever necessary. Most students interviewed for a job they would actually want in the future to make it as real as possible. We had near everybody participate!
The classroom teacher or staff member often conducted the interview in front of the rest of the class. Each teacher or staff member did a great job asking real interview questions while holding the students accountable. Students had to enter the interview space appropriately, introduce themselves, conduct themselves appropriately, answer the questions and engage appropriately, ask questions when appropriate, and end/leave the interview appropriately. There were a lot of teachable moments and a lot of engagement! After each interview we reviewed with both the student and the class what went well and what they could improve on. The students displayed positivity and appropriateness throughout the process. I was very proud of all of them!

This activity also fits well into our transition department at school which helps the students prepare for occupations and engage in job shadowing and actual jobs when available.

Starting and Joining Conversations
There are some more obvious examples of conversations in which we engage, including with friends and family. However, other conversations include job interviews, ordering food, making appointments, meeting people we do not know at a park or event, setting up a college tour, interacting with customers while at work, having a conversation with your boss, parent/teacher/student conferences, posts/comments on social media and other websites, etc. We constantly engage in conversations throughout the day to get things that we may need or want as well as to help or give information to others. It is very important for every person to constantly evaluate and seek to improve their skills in these areas to more successfully engage with others.
We continued this topic for about four weeks and practiced our conversation skills in many different situations.
We initially identified the rules of starting and joining conversations:

Starting Individual conversations

  • Role play—wrong way
  • Steps for starting an individual conversation:
  • Casually look over
  • Use a prop
  • Find a common interest
  • Mention the common interest
  • Trade information
  • Assess interest
  • Introduce yourself
  • Appropriate role play

Joining group conversations

  • Role play—wrong way
  • Steps for joining group conversations
  • Listen to the conversation
  • Watch from a distance
  • Use a prop
  • Identify the topic
  • Find a common interest
  • Move closer
  • Wait for a pause
  • Mention the topic
  • Assess interest
  • Introduce yourself
  • Appropriate role play

The students engaged in role plays for correct and incorrect examples. We think the role plays are very helpful for the students!

2018-11-27T10:27:42+00:00November 1st, 2018|