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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Counselor Q&A: Part Two and a Freebie!!!

Hey, friends! Hope you are soaking up every bit of summer. I go back Friday...yes...this week. It's always bittersweet! I love being with my family but I also love being there for my students!

Today, I am finishing up my Q&A from sweet counselors that emailed or messaged questions. If you didn't see the first one, you can check it out HERE! So here we go, Round 2!!!

I will be a first year counselor, what do you think is the hardest thing about being a counselor?

In terms of being hard, that could fall into a number of areas. For me, understanding how much of a multi-tasker you need to be was tough to figure out. Counselors do a lot on campus (which can be an amazing thing so that we have accountability). I think just getting down your system as in how do you handle 504, crisis, staff support, admin support, parent meetings, planning activities, possibly testing or scheduling depending on the grade level. Once you know what to expect and can fit it into your system, it all kind of falls into place. I won't lie, I just finished my first year at a new campus/grade level and I am still learning.  Another hard thing about being a counselor is the emotional attachment. I am a mom and I meet with kids and want to save them all. Learning when it's beyond what you can do and that your hands are tied is the hardest thing EVER. Those were the hardest things for me but at the same time, I wouldn't give it up for anything.

I am currently an intern in an elementary school. What are some ideas of things to do with kids who may not want to talk or just sit there?

Haha...I wish there was a magic activity or one liner I could give ya' but honestly it is all about making the kiddo feel comfortable. I never want them to feel forced to talk to me. I want them to know I am here for them and that I won't "make" them tell me something unless of course they are being hurt, are hurting someone else, or wants to hurt theirself. Now I will say with some of my Kindergarteners and Firsties at my old school...puppets or stuffed animals always worked well. Some of them would just need to pick one up to hold to feel safe before they start chatting. I would always have a basket of them near where kids sat. Also, good ol' fashioned paper and crayons can sometimes tell you so much. They tend to open up more and feel like they have something distracting them. You can even sometimes get some intense things from what they draw. But I would say creating a warm, welcoming environment and being very visible to kids so you don't seem like a stranger are the best things to do.

I have seen you post about planners, which one do you recommend? 

Well, I must start by saying I kinda love planners and notebooks....just a lil' bit.

 It really depends on what you're looking for and are needing. Some people need a daily page for appointments or need super large boxes for their month at a glance. I researched planners a lot and also have used a variety!!! 

The ones I would recommend are below:

Erin Condren
I have gotten Erin Condren planners for the past 3 years and have loved them. The only setback for me was needing more room for the monthly at a glance. Other than that, I love them!!!! It also has stickers for appointments, parties, etc. I will so miss that now!!! 
Price Range: $65-75

 Kate Spade

I am trying this one out this year and I won't lie...I got it because it is so stinkin' cute and I heart Kate Spade. It seems clean and together. My only concern is that the monthly calendar boxes are too small for my bubbly handwriting. Now, I will say that a week after my co counselor and I purchased ours, Swoozie's got a new shipment of larger ones. Bummer!!! If I would have known about that, I would have waited for the bigger one. But so far this one seems really nice.
Price Range: $36-48

Emily Ley
My sister in law has one of these and loves it. This one seems like it has more room for you to write daily/hourly. It looks amazing and she swears by it. She needs the daily page and I focus more on the monthly. So for her, it works great and for me, I needed something with more room to write in for months.
Price Range: $65-75

Let me also say that $10 planners from Target can be equally amazing. It just depends on what you need and are wanting. 

Well, before I leave...let me leave you with a Freebie!!! 
How cute would this be on your door or enlarged for a bulletin board or in the hallway??
Gets yours for FREE, HERE

I hope you all have a great week! Please feel free to email or message me with any questions or ideas for posts. Hearing from y'all makes blogging 10x more fun!!! 


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