Saturday, November 17, 2012

Do Not Disturb...Please!

My phone rings off the hook all day. If I'm with a student, or a group of students, I don't answer it. It often drives my students crazy and many times they will say to me,"Your phone is ringing. Aren't you going to answer it?" I always respond, "No. If it is important they will leave a message and I'm working with you right now." So, most times I can dodge the phone bullet.

Yet, trouble with the office door is becoming a bigger problem for the first time in my career. Maybe this scenario sounds familiar to are in the process of a difficult session with a student - talking about and discussing confidential information or a sensitive issue. When much to your amazement, without a knock, your door opens and either someone is talking to you from the doorway or someone walks in. I am always struck by this because my students are not engaging in this behavior. They students always seem to knock if my door is closed and if my door happens to be open, and they see me working with a student(s), they tend to stop at the doorway until they are acknowledged. What happens after that door opens unexpectedly is often so uncomfortable; a student is disclosing sensitive information or is upset and the adult is standing there as happy as a clam...saying "HI" or wanting to talk with me or both of us. I do not feel comfortable locking the door and even if I close my door's window curtain, someone could still feel compelled to walk in. I don't know how many other school counselors face this same issue, but, I've been struggling with maintaining confidentiality during these sensitive session times.

Maybe a Do Not Disturb door sign would be helpful. I asked for some wording suggestions on one of my Facebook posts because I didn't want the wording to sound harsh (I am in an elementary school). Then, I contacted Lindsey at Personal Pizazz by Lindsey about making a smaller sign to either hang on my doorknob or with a Command hook on the door. Lindsey was so generous and so willing to do this for me! Thank you Lindsey :)

This is what I decided for the wording:

Please Do Not Disturb!
School Counseling in Progress
Minds at Work Inside
Please Stop By Later!

Here are the fantastic signs that coordinate with the name sign from Personal Pizazz by Lindsey which I posted in August 2012! They are each about 8x8 in size and are extremely light! These signs will certainly be noticed....they are so colorful and fun!

The holidays are almost here! These signs would make great gifts for a school counselor, teacher, principal, or other school staff members. Maybe you would like to treat yourself by getting one for your office door! If so, please visit Personal Pizazz by Lindsey for more information! I believe her holiday deadline is fast approaching.


  1. These are great! Your ideas and resources are really wonderful! I love seeing how widely other school counselors are adopting them! I bet your Be bulletin board was in every state and several countries! Thanks for sharing so generously!


    1. Thank you so much, Rebecca. I truly enjoy your blog and ideas as well!

  2. I have a sign that hangs over my doorknob that says, "My door is closed, please leave me a note." It is certainly not as cute as yours but it does the trick (except for a sub who walked in anyway).

    I just started my own blog and I'm really excited about it! I hope you don't mind, but I put a link to your blog. I used one of your ideas and I always give credit where credit is due. I would love your feedback on my blog if you get the chance. Just keep in mind that it is only about 2 weeks running. Thank you for all of your great ideas! ~Emily

    1. Hi! Thank you so much for your kind thoughts AND welcome to the world of blogging!!! I think your blog looks fantastic! Congratulations on taking the leap! I hope you get as much joy from this endeavor as I have. I look forward to reading your ideas!