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Hi everyone! I’m Tesla, and I’ve been a social worker in the school systems since 2014. I've worked at the district level, as well as the middle and high school levels. Next year, I'm excited to expand my experience to elementary!

I created this site as a resource for current school social workers, counselors, home school educators and anyone else helping students with social/ emotional/ behavioral skills. Click below to read more about my background and why I created this site!

Best assessment tools with logos from various assessments.

Social Emotional Assessments in Schools: How to Determine the Best Assessment Tool

By tesla | April 27, 2024

Evaluations for special education are oftentimes a large portion of a school social worker’s role. Determining the best social emotional assessment tools to use can be confusing- here we aim to untangle the process and outline a few of the key determining factors to pick the right assessment tool. Presenting Problem The IEP process starts…

Girl stacking blocks with adult woman helping.

Determining Eligibility for Autism in Girls

By tesla | August 30, 2023

Autism diagnoses are becoming more prevalent in recent years. However, much of the research about what Autism “looks” like stems from young Caucasian males. In this post, we will discuss how Autism is currently evaluated (specifically in schools), and the differences between Autism in girls and boys. Autism Spectrum Disorder in Girls People traditionally think…

How to create an efficient school social worker toolkit.

How to Create a School Social Worker Toolkit

By tesla | August 23, 2023

As a first-year school social worker, tracking all the documentation and different types of meetings can feel overwhelming. This “one-stop-shop” school social worker toolkit creates a central location for all information and helps to make life easier for new and experienced social workers alike! What is a School Social Worker Toolkit? There are two types…

"Set Goals" written on a sticky note.

Tips for Writing Social Emotional IEP Goals & 10 Example Goals

By tesla | January 12, 2023

Probably one of the most daunting parts of being a new school social worker is writing IEP evaluations and goals. While some school districts have templates available, most do not. Here are 10 of the most common social emotional goals for an IEP and how to write your own goals. Tip #1: Be SMART One…

Girl sitting alone with three children talking behind her.

Social Emotional Goal: Targeting Selective Mutism

By tesla | December 12, 2022

Selective mutism is a disorder that affects an individual’s ability to communicate verbally and consistently across all settings. Targeting selective mutism in schools is a complicated task, but here are some tips for interventions and goals to help students with selective mutism lead healthy and happy lives. What is Selective Mutism? Selective mutism is an…

Male teacher with three students sitting in a circle.

How to Set Up Small Groups for Counseling: 8 Steps

By tesla | July 23, 2022

School social workers run small groups on a variety of topics. In this post, we discuss some of the most important steps to setting up small groups for counseling/ school social work. 1. Conduct a Needs Assessment The first step in setting up small groups is to determine a specific need. Some schools conduct formal…

Social Emotional Competencies

How to Determine the Best Social Emotional Curriculum

By tesla | July 20, 2022

Selecting a social emotional curriculum can be overwhelming and feel like you’re getting sold. In this post, we’ll discuss some key elements for selecting an appropriate social emotional curriculum. CASEL Certified Social Emotional Curriculum The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is the agency that reviews social emotional curriculum to ensure it is…

CASEL social emotional learning circle

The Fundamentals of Social Emotional Skill Development

By tesla | July 11, 2022

Understanding the key concepts of social emotional functioning for students is critical for anyone starting out in the field of school social work. What does it mean to have social emotional skills in social awareness, relationship management, decision-making skills, self-management and self awareness? How can social workers help develop these skills? The CASEL Model The…

Setting up a school social work office.

School Social Work Office Must-Haves: 5+ Tips

By tesla | July 8, 2022

School social work offices can be customized and look vastly different! Here are five of the most essential elements no matter your style. Paperwork Area We’ll start off with the least fun, but probably most essential area. School social workers have a ton of required paperwork and having a dedicated space to keep this paperwork…

Assess in scrabble letters.

Special Education Initial Mental Health Evaluations

By tesla | July 2, 2022

Initial evaluations for Special Education include assessments from a wide variety of stakeholders. In this post, we will discuss the role of the social worker, types of assessments for initial mental health evaluations and common concerns requiring mental health support. Role of the Social Worker in Initial Evaluations The role of the social worker in…

Office desk with stacks of paper and folders

Step-By-Step Guide to Setting up a School Social Work Calendar

By tesla | July 1, 2022

Creating social work lesson plans for a whole school year can feel overwhelming! We break it down here into 6 manageable steps for creating a school social work calendar to create less stress and start the year off organized! I. Map Out Weekly Schedule The very first step is to set up a calendar. You’ll…

Infographic of various licensure types for school social workers.

Best Tips for Becoming a LCSW (in Colorado)

By tesla | June 30, 2022

The process of becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Colorado can be confusing and long.  In this post, we will untangle the process of social work licensure and help determine which pathway might be best for a school social worker. Types of Social Work Licensures There are a few different licenses school social…

3 faces drawn on chalkboard- happy, middle and sad with a checkmark next to happy.

How to Develop School Social Work Lesson Plans

By tesla | June 30, 2022

This post outlines how to determine school social work lesson plans for the school year. This post discusses some of the most important considerations including: the role of the social worker, mental health supports, age/ grade level, mandatory lessons and calendar considerations. As a new school social worker, developing an intentional plan for groups or…

Information Sheets for Students with Difficult Behaviors

By tesla | June 27, 2022

Social workers are often tasked with supporting students who exhibit unsafe or disruptive behaviors in school. An informational “quick facts” sheet serves as a helpful tool for not just social workers, but staff throughout the school to help support students in crisis. Key Elements for an Information Sheet While you may have a lot of…