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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Small Groups and Morale!

Can you believe spring break is almost here? I am super excited and I am getting spring fever...actually I have SUMMER fever. I l-o-v-e- my job so much but I am ready to lay out, get pedicures, and be with my own kiddos all summer and head to Disney World, the most magical place! For now, I guess I will keep studying this sweet little book....getting for the National Counselor Exam (any tips, pointers are greatly appreciated). On the positive side, I always make sure to have some Starbucks when studying! : )

I have been pretty stinkin' busy lately as the year winds down as we get ready to prep for the end of the school year. I had a blast getting 3 year plans done with our 5th graders and middle school class choice sheets are done!!! I know it will get even crazier so yesterday I sat down and planned out the rest of my small groups for the year. I usually do about 5 sessions per group,  more depending on the group. Y'all, it was so nice prepping all my groups and sitting down and thinking about specific activities. I felt like a teacher again getting everything ready in my lil' file folders.

So what I did, as simple as it is, is got a folder for each group with their group name and on the inside I just wrote out the five session activities/topics and made all of the copies and put them inside along with the books and any other necessary supplies. I have a little art station so I did not put those items in if they were needed for a craftivity. I know what you may be thinking right now....putting things you need in a folder ahead of time...DUH!

I know, I know.....it's the simplest of simple but I never thought about doing this with my groups. I do this with guidance but it was so easy yesterday to just grab my folder when my group came in and go!!!

Before, I go I want to share something that my campus did this year that I absolutely love. We have a wall in the office that staff members write positive words on to boost morale. I won't even lie, it makes you feel good to see your name up and that someone thinks you're doing a good job. I can't take credit for this idea but I wanted to share because I have seen the smiles on people's faces when they spot their name. Melts my heart to see someone happy that may feel under appreciated.

I hope you all have a fabulous week! I will start planning my career day and hope to post a little look at what I will be doing. What do you do for Career Education for your kiddos??

Monday, February 18, 2013

Counselor Connect Linky Party

Hey, y'all!!! I hope you had a relaxing weekend. I spent time with my little family shopping and hanging out...it was so nice! Mondays are so hard but when you have a job helping kids it makes it so worthwhile and those Mondays don't seem so tough anymore. I don't know about you but it's so stinkin' hard to get ready and going in the morning but once I am at work I am energetic and running around a million times a minute! I thought it would be fun to have a little Counselor Connect Linky Party! So link on up, copy the questions and answer them, and grab the link below and let us get to know you!

1. Name and blog?
Why, hello....I'm Melanie @ stylishschoolcounselor.blogspot.com

2. What school level are you at?

3. Favorite counseling technique when a student does not want to talk?
art, writing, games, puppets.....PLAY THERAPY

4. What is a professional growth goal?
To be an LPC and to attend the play therapy institute at the University of North Texas (where play therapy pro Dr.Garry Landreth is) and one day I think it would be cool to be a high school counselor but right now elementary has my heart!

5. Why did you want to be a counselor?
I wanted to make a difference in the lives of students, of course! When I was in high school, I had a tough time sorting out feelings and dealing with the tragic death of a classmate. My school counselor at the time was so wonderful and always made me feel like I had a safe place to cry, just talk, and she made me feel like my feelings were always valid no matter how big or small something was.I want to be that person for a child.

6. What theory do you use?
In a school with an extremely large case load of students, I use solution focused but I also love me some Adlerian.

7. What is your go to activity?
I always have a student draw a picture of their family and it is so amazing what you get from that...

8. What is your favorite part of your job?
I would have to say small group counseling. I love to see the cohesion of the group and it's so cool getting to know the kiddos. It's awesome to build those relationships with the students and see them build strong relationships with each other.

9. What are some of your favorite counseling resources?
counseling blogs, pinterest, Solution focused therapy by Dr. Linda Metcalfe (book)

10. What do you do when you're not being a super counselor?
I am a wife to my amazing husband and mommy to my sweet kiddos (Grayson is 5 and Ella is 2). I also teach Sunday School, love to be with our families, shop, and rearrange things in my house when my hubby won't let me shop anymore...lol! I also love Starbucks and manicures.

11. One thing you are proud of this school year?
I am really proud of a program I just began second semester. It is called the Bully Police and students apply to help patrol the halls and report any bullying in the school. So far it has been working wonders and all the kids want to be on it. Bully Officers are given little tickets to report bullying and I am in the process of making badges so kids in each grade will know who to go to if they need help coming to me about bullying or reporting it. I have a bucket in the front office and the Bully Officers drop it off there and I check them each day.
12. What are other ways you communicate?
I have a personal blog: http://whatshappeningintheackerfamily.blogspot.com/
You can find me on instagram@ melroseacker
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/melaniea82/
Teachers Pay Teachers Store: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Stylish-School-Counselor

Hope y'all enjoyed and I can't wait to see who links up so I can get to know them! Have a wonderful week and don't forget to take some time for you!!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I have some work to do!

I know you must have heard it tons of times...but I can't get over how sad I am about our computer dying! We have laptops and an ipad but it's not the same. I miss sitting in the comfy computer chair creating away...since we do have laptops we are not replacing it...we will be turning our office into a playroom/guest room. I am oh.so.excited to decorate and make it fun, so that is a positive!

In the meantime, I have beeen behind on blogging and creating so I definitely have some work to do. On top of that, I was reading Counseling Corner and am so in love with her guidance activity organization. I see labeled binders and cute, colorful crates in my near future. I do have a guidance calendar I use to help me plan my dates/times and monthly topics but I pretty much do the same lesson K-2 and the same for 3-5 unless a need comes up for a specific grade level or class. Here is a look at my calendar:
I hope you all had a fabulous school counseling week! I know I enjoyed gifts and pinkberry from my principal and tons of sweet notes from students!

I was so excited to have the week to advocate for counselors and the counseling program!! I hope you felt special and appreciated for all the hard work that you do!

Before I go, I was wondering if anyone had any good resources for bipolar children? I have a lot of good books but I was looking for some internet resources. With "trying" to study for the national counselor exam, I have not had much time for any extra reading! If you have any, please share because I am in great need of them!!! Thanks so much and I hope you all have a fabulous week!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Happy School Counseling Week!!!!

I hope you are all having a wondeful School Counseling Week. I would have loved to do more at my campus but it has been a bit busy, as I am sure you all understand!!

I have been using ASCA's great ideas and resources that you can find here: http://www.schoolcounselor.org/content.asp?contentid=271
I have l.o.v.e.d. the morning announcements!!!
I also created a colorful version of ASCA's certificate to give to staff members. They were so excited and as I was walking through classrooms today, I already saw them proudly displayed!
You can find your own copy here that you can edit according to your campus for free:

As I posted on my facebook page, our computer sadly died. : ( I am so sad and a lot of my clip art, fonts, and cutesy borders and counseling games I created were on there. But I am back at getting all those stinkin' things back on my laptop. I was so old school and loved using our desktop computer but back to the laptop I go. I will be posting some lessons and activities for test taking/strategies for grades 3-5 and good work habits for k-2.

I hope you all have a great week and know that you make a difference!! As counselors we may not get as much recognition or praise but we have to advocate for ourselves and programs. So...know that you are an integral part of your campus and your kiddos' lives!!