Encouraging Words for School Counselors

Inspire Success

Inspire Success hosts this weekly podcast of encouraging short stories from school counselors about school counseling. The free 5-10 minute podcasts airs weekly with heartening short stories and practical tips from school counselors to make your workweek a bit lighter.

All Episodes

When Mindy Weaver-Flask submitted her graduate school application for School Counseling, the college lost it and told her she had to reapply. Instead of taking that as a sign she shouldn’t be a counselor, Mindy saw it instead as indication to be persistent. In this week’s story, Mindy shares WHY she feels her persistence will pay off.

Dec 6

7 min 9 sec

What happens when a male, Latino police officer is encouraged to consider being a school counselor? It comes down to trust and believing, as you’ll learn in this week’s story from Anuar Velazquez.

Nov 29

5 min 55 sec

It is not unusual for counselors to have several students from the same family on their caseload. For School Counselor Stephanie Payne, her experiences with three students in the same family was the subject of an encouraging note from Mom.

Nov 22

4 min 52 sec

Though school counselors know some of the best counseling “techniques” are the basics – such as empathy, caring, and active listening – it can be a challenge to find time to practice these with students. But the payoff from using these skills can sometimes be noteworthy.

Nov 15

5 min 36 sec

In this Sharing Thanks story, Jenny Scott tells why a hand-made card & bloody Ziplock bag were part of the most memorable birthdays she ever celebrated.

Nov 8

4 min 28 sec

We start our November Sharing Thanks series with the touching story of a six-word note that Bruce Bushnell received from a student years ago. Though it was a short note, it meant the world to both Bruce and his student.

Nov 1

6 min 4 sec

Counselors interact with students hundreds of times each day and never know which interactions will resonate most. Fabion Vicks shares one of these moments that ended up being a lasting memory for him.

Oct 25

3 min 53 sec

Often the most helpful advice is not something startling new, but something familiar that hits a chord with us at the right moment. This week’s guest Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge reminds us of how we can be helpful to students and parents by starting with a simple phrase.

Oct 18

6 min 3 sec

School counselors know there are many ways to reach students; sometimes through conversations, artwork, sports, and even music. This week we share our listeners’ 2021 Encouraging Songs for School Counselors playlist which might be useful to both students and counselors.

Oct 11

3 min 35 sec

For many school counselors the last two years have been rough, but imagine what recent school counselor graduates must be going through. For perspective, new counselor Cal Beneze shares his unique insights this week with advice on how to make it through.

Oct 4

6 min 14 sec

If you think you have a bizarre story about something that happened while online with a student, wait until you hear this week’s story from Chloe Benjamin.

Sep 27

5 min 2 sec

With more than 30 years of experience in career counseling, Spencer “Skip” Niles’ work with students reflects the Maya Angelou quote that appears on his email signature which says, “My mission in life is not merely to survive but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

Sep 20

6 min 33 sec

Though it often takes some interpretation by a counselor or teacher, career readiness assessments can make a positive and lasting impression on student success.

Sep 13

5 min 28 sec

Kuder Career Coach Alesia Ruffin has a three-point career exploration strategy for her 7th through 12th grade students in Alabama: 1) Build relationships, 2) Diminish generational “curses,” and 3) Create opportunities. In this week’s podcast Alesia shares her belief that career guidance is an investment in our students’ future.

Sep 6

6 min 44 sec

No matter how often we listen to others, it often requires a different perspective to hear what others are saying. This week’s story from Elizabeth Moore describes how that maxim strengthened the bonds between a student and her mother.

Aug 30

4 min 35 sec

Student suicides are devastating tragedies that many school counselors, sadly, have experienced at one level or another. But there is hope. Hear how Dr. Greg Hudnall’s vow to prevent one more suicide at his school has turned into an international movement.

Aug 23

5 min 9 sec

School counselor Laura Guido shares two creative ways to develop trust and deepen connections between students and caring adults.

Aug 11

6 min 5 sec

Jan Desmarais-Morse has worked as a school counselor for more than 30 years and is a former state school counselor of the year. But in this week’s Encouraging Words for School Counselors podcast, Jan shares how finding ways to combat childhood sexual abuse is a never-ending challenge.

Aug 2

6 min 51 sec

This week we feature one of our favorite podcasts from the past year. Retiring school counselor Kent Cocking shares a story of a 60 year old retiree whose love for learning touched the lives of all those around him.

Jul 26

9 min 46 sec

Collecting and using data may be the last thing some school counselors want to do. But in this week’s summer rebroadcast we hear how Kentucky School Counselor of the Year Amy Beal used data as an effective advocacy tool to help more students have a positive school experience.

Jul 19

7 min 59 sec

While on vacation this summer, host Matt Fleck saw a sign at a farmers market that said, “Judge each day not by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.” In this summer rebroadcast, school counselors Trudi Wolfe and Melissa Keeley explain why this particular phrase is especially meaningful to their work as counselors.

Jul 12

4 min 38 sec

Helping our students succeed can sometimes take us on journeys we don’t expect. Indiana high school counselor Allen Hill shares a story this week about how helping one of his students helped HIM grow as a professional school counselor.

Jul 5

6 min 35 sec

Summer is a great time for reconnecting with our families and for recalling the tremendous support we receive from our “school families.” In this summer rebroadcast, Kim Crumbley reflects on the family values that support her work as a school counselor.

Jun 28

4 min 48 sec

Why do school counselors choose to be school counselors? Listen in as an elementary counselor, a former middle school counselor and a high school counselor share their reasons for choosing this profession focused on improving the lives of students.

Jun 21

6 min 8 sec

Perhaps the best way for school counselors to know if their work makes a difference is to listen to the words of students and colleagues. This conversation between Tif Bernard and Amy Seigle about counselor Hedy King reflects the very reason for recognizing school counselors and the work they do.

Jun 14

8 min 32 sec

The pandemic forced all of us to reach deep within ourselves to muster confidence, be creative, and find comic methods of relief. South Dakota School Counseling and Career Development Specialist Andrea Diehm did all of these things as she shared her reflections earlier this school year.

Jun 7

6 min 11 sec

How did middle school counselor Jennifer Henriquez cope with COVID and the stresses of school counseling? She became a Life Coach and says this process can help others, too.

May 31

4 min 39 sec

More listeners share their end-of-the-school-year stories, both humorous and touching, that highlight current and future school counselors’ super powers.

May 24

7 min 58 sec

Years ago, Kent Cocking took a counseling job at his area career center thinking it would be temporary, and then he met John who taught him you’re never too old to learn.

May 17

9 min 12 sec

The work of school counselors is often compared to planting seeds. If we’re lucky, we occasionally get to share in the results of our hard work as Stephanie Brinsley did this spring.

May 10

4 min 55 sec

School counselors understand students may "awfulize" (using Albert Ellis' term) a situation, making it more terrible than it is So can adults. Kelly Dunn shares a story of how thinking differently about an issue can bring it to a screeching halt.

May 3

5 min 57 sec

Sometimes the greatest rewards of being a school counselor come in a small note or the barest of smiles from a student. If you can relate to that feeling, you’ll appreciate the beauty of the small win shared by this week’s guest Bob Tyra.

Apr 26

6 min 8 sec

Helping students explore and experience multiple postsecondary possibilities before graduation is a central role of school counselors. This week’s guest shares how her school corporation found a creative way that engaged both students and educators!

Apr 19

6 min 17 sec

It may be time to take another look at ways to organize school counseling programs that lead to more support for school counselors and more time to work directly with students.

Apr 12

4 min 53 sec

School counselors’ work in helping students succeed is magnified when other organizations collaborate in providing families with information and motivation. Learn how the non-profit organization Catisha Coates-Toney has created is doing just that.

Apr 5

7 min 27 sec

For this spring break edition of the podcast we pull another favorite from our archives. This story, from former middle school counselor Mary Pouch, reminds us that it can be helpful for counselors to be there when students bump into reality.

Mar 29

5 min 15 sec

From our archives, Indiana’s 2021 School Counselor of the Year Connie Sivertson reminds us not to forget about our highest achieving and most resilient “schoolproof” students who need school counselors’ support just as much or more as other students.

Mar 22

5 min 53 sec

Hope springs eternal not only for warmer weather and freedom from the pandemic, but for a mid-semester break for counselors, educators, and administrators. Whether you’re still in school or on vacation, we offer a short reminder of why sharing your stories helps us all cope with the school year.

Mar 15

2 min 16 sec

When the relationship between a veteran school counselor and new counselor intern “clicks,” amazing things can result. Counselor intern Kathleen Whybrew shares the many ways students have benefited from the positive relationship with her counselor supervisor Laura Samide.

Mar 8

7 min 36 sec

For school counselors like Dr. Nicole Fields, the key to helping students succeed and thrive is staying connected; even in the midst of a pandemic.

Mar 1

5 min 37 sec

School counselors may never “like” using data, but, as Kentucky School Counselor of the Year Amy Beal found out, data CAN be an effective advocacy tool to help more students have a positive school experience.

Feb 22

8 min 4 sec

One of the surest ways of promoting positive student behavior is to highlight occasions when students do good, whether in big or small ways. School Counselor Elishia Basner has found that this practice results in benefits that go beyond the walls of the school building.

Feb 15

5 min 56 sec

What keeps your body and spirit warm in the winter? This week we share some of the comforting stories that inspire us to keep going, despite the cold.

Feb 8

4 min 16 sec

Perhaps the best way for school counselors to know if their work makes a difference, is to listen to the words of students and colleagues. This conversation between Tif Bernard and Amy Seigle about counselor Hed King reflects the very reason for recognizing school counselors during National School Counseling Week.

Feb 1

8 min 45 sec

Counselor Emily Hanus and her intern Bailey Lauritzen have developed a strong mutual support system despite a challenging and “colorful” school year.

Jan 25

5 min 20 sec

Alabama school counselor Kim Crumbley is back, sharing with us a few touching and "revealing" stories about working with parents and families that you won't want to miss.

Jan 18

6 min 5 sec

Kim Crumbley, the other half of the popular Counselor Accents podcast, shares how trial and error, plus lots of laughter with colleagues, is a remedy for survival.

Jan 11

5 min 12 sec

When students challenge us, it is difficult to not react defensively. Second-year school counselor Sammi Borders shares how she copes with students who push our buttons.

Jan 4

4 min 55 sec

As we say adieu to 2020, we propose an idea and an easy-to-meet resolution for a better and brighter new year.

Dec 2020

4 min 1 sec

School counselor Laura Rankhorn of the popular Counselor Accents podcast recounts how a handful of high school mentors brightened the holidays for their elementary student mentees.

Dec 2020

6 min 37 sec