Today’s Lesson by … Roosevelt? the Use of Character Portrayal in Classroom Guidance (Perspectives FROM THE FIELD)

School counselors often find the need to use a wide variety of resources and creative ways to keep the attention span of children during classroom guidance. This article describes how counselors may use the portrayal of a historical character in the classroom to teach lessons on self-esteem, motivation, and goal setting Classroom guidance is widely considered to be an effective, efficient, and practical use of a school counselor’s time (Gladding, 2004; Myrick, 1997). The decision-making process involved in selecting classroom guidance lessons, however, can be difficult for any school counselor. Most educators find it very challenging to hold the attention of their students throughout the school day, and counselors realize early in their careers that they are well-served by making their individual guidance lessons as interesting as possible. Indeed, school counselors have a wide variety of options when it comes to teaching classroom guidance lessons, including the use of puppets, board games, and bibliotherapy (Kottman, Ashby, & DeGraff, 2001). Many counselors try to incorporate their lessons around these options, desiring to use a variety of teaching materials to hold the attention of their students (Myrick). Still, many other school counselors simply “stick to the book” when it comes to preparing lessons, preferring to leave the writing of more creative lessons to others. However, there are numerous benefits for professional counselors who are able to be active, imaginative, and creative in their work (Jacobs, 2001).

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