Counseling in the Middle

Ritenour Middle School Counseling


When I was completing my Master's in School Counseling I had a class on classroom management, like many of you surely had. Our teacher introduced the concept of PGO. PGO stood for Professional Growth Opportunity. I personally love taking the opportunity to grow in my practice through professional learning. In fact, three years ago I had the opportunity to make a change in my career and I chose to do so because I wanted to continue to grow. This week I began to reflect on the year thus far and was challenged to think about what growth I might have experienced. Then I remembered what Dr. Stanfield had shared about PGO. She said that PGO's are your very own Professional Growth Opportunity, and they come to you absolutely free of charge. They are the student who will always challenge you. As I enter this break, I plan to develop a different mindset on how I might view some of the "challenging" students I am working with. I will start by first viewing them as my PGO. I hope you will do the same.

Who are your PGO's this year? How have you been challenged to learn when working with your PGO? What strategies might you explore to ensure that students have every opportunity to grow as well?

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2 X 10 Strategy

Here is a great starting strategy when working with your PGO's.

There’s a simple way to connect with a challenging student, according to “The Two-Minute Relationship Builder” from the July issue of Education Update. Spend two minutes a day for 10 days having a personal conversation with the student. Talk about whatever topic interests him—sports, cars, family life, Legos, whatever—but keep discipline and academics off the table.

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Every kid needs a champion | Rita Pierson

Have a Great Thanksgiving!