My son is a diabetic and sometimes when his blood sugar is too high he has to go into the hospital.  So, yesterday was one of those days when he was admitted for this condition.   By the time we got him into his room, I was really tired and hungry.  As my husband and I were leaving the room for a late night supper, I noticed that the nurse was writing some information on a whiteboard. This information contained my son’s provider, his care plan, and a pain management chart with some happy and sad faces. I thought that was a really great idea because it kept my son informed of who would be taking care of him and it kept the health professionals updated on what going on with his condition.

Example of a Medical Whiteboard

By midnight, my husband and I were finally eating at the Huddle House and enjoying some quality time together. As I was getting ready to take a bite of my hash browns, an idea popped into my head about

An idea at the Huddle House!

creating my own counseling whiteboard when working with students.  Excitedly I shared my idea with my husband, but he didn’t share my enthusiasm.

 ln my opinion, visuals are very important in conveying information from the speaker to the listener.  One way to do this is by creating an action plan whiteboard when working with students on their academic, personal/social, and college/career goals.

Why Use a Whiteboard in Your Counseling Office?

I have a big whiteboard in my office and I often use it to write out information, make connections, and write out plans.  Sometimes, I will copy what I wrote out or take a picture to save for our next meeting.  In my opinion, I see a definite difference in the students’ brainstorming ability when I write out information rather than just discussing an issue.  To me, creating a whiteboard for counseling can be very handy when working with students in academic issues like failing a course or what course to take, social/personal issues like conflict or whether to stay in a relationship, or a career/college issue like deciding which college to apply.  So, without further ado, here is a draft of my future student planning whiteboard.

Draft of my board idea

First the student describes the issue and I write out the information  in terms of their practical needs in the circle.

Next, I will have the student identify the urgency of their situation as high (red), medium (yellow) or low (green).  This is helpful when the student needs to prioritize a situation especially when the student is talking about more than one issue.

After identifying the urgency of the matter, I ask the student identify his/her feelings about the situation.  I thought the faces and numbers were great because some students lack the words to express emotions.

Next, I will ask the student who should be involved in their plan and when we should follow up about his or her plan. Then I will ask the student to tell me how he or she knows when the desired goal(s) have been met.

Last, I always check with the student to see how he or she is feeling before leaving my office.

Students can be given a handout to write down the information from the board and pulled out in the follow up meeting.

Materials for making your own whiteboard

Whiteboards can be quite expensive so I wanted to give you some ideas on how you can make your own.  Cost of the board depends on the size, materials, and your creativity.  Some materials for making a board include paint or peel off stickers.

First, pick your whiteboard.

Paint your wall with Dry Erase paint or purchase a peel off dry erase board Wall Pops for 17.99 or from Walmart for $13.17.

Second, think about how you will create your boxes.

Stencils for creating boxes are helpful especially if you have a big board or you can tape off boxes using washi tape.

This particular stencil kit is $59.00

Michael’s Craft Store for $4.99

You can buy or make your own whiteboard stencil

Third, you can buy pull off letters or choose to write your words.

You can write your own title boxes or use letters from Michael’s Craft Stores.

Michael’s Craft Store for $4.99

Some Additional Whiteboard Ideas

Using frames

Hand Drawn Lines and Sticky Notes

Okay, your turn.  What great whiteboard ideas do you want to share!


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