Header/Navigation Bar/Social Media Icons

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Marketing our job...

Hey, y'all!! I have been so super busy as I am sure all of you have but I finally had a little time to relax and blog...which I love to do because it makes me feel like we are all just havin' a little chat!! I have a hodge podge of things to talk about today so bear with me....you may see some ADHD tendencies goin' on!

As counselors...of course, we love counseling but there are so many other aspects of our job as school counselors. I think we have to be the biggest advocate for school counselors by our actions, words, and attitude. The past two weeks, I have witnessed great speeches and great staff developments. I have been blessed in every district I have ever been in and this new one is no different. In convocation, we heard from Dr. John Draper and he said we have to market our district, school, and profession. When we make comments about how we don't like doing this part of our job but we love doing this part...we really aren't marketing our job as counselors. Now, are there things I don't prefer as much as other things?? Yes... but I know that BOTH parts make up my job! In schools, we can't just show that we are counselors who provide guidance, individual and group counseling but we have to show that, yes, we do schedules and support teachers and meet with parents and do LOTS of paperwork!! It shows accountability for us! I try to be positive and save any "venting" for a close friend or my husband because I want to advertise my profession and show the people in my school that I keep going and I am there to support our students and staff every day with a smile!! !

Sorry, y'all! I was just feeling so passionate about that today because I think sometimes we do a disservice to ourselves when we have a negative attitude. There are already sooo many people who don't understand the importance of school counselors and I want to show them we are the heartbeat of the school!!

So...I have been missing lately because I have been doing schedules which has made me realize how stinkin' important us counselors are at the beginning of the year (see that advertising)??? Haha!

We also went to Meet the Teacher night for our first, sweet baby who is going to Kindergarten. Oh my word, Monday will be super tough....I better wear water proof mascara!
We couldn't ask for more amazing teachers for our sweet boy!! He absolutely loved visiting the school!! My hubby works there so he will love having Daddy as his PE teacher. And look how cute the bulletin board is.....isn't this wire like ribbon fabulous border??? It would look darling on some counseling bulletin boards!!!

Now on to counseling!!!! I attended an absolutely fabulous counseling staff development and can I say that our district Guidance Director is amazing!!??? Ms. West is so stinkin' cute and shared with us such a neat intro activity. First, she showed us this video clip from the movie " How Do You Know"? (After seeing the clip, I rented the movie and it was pretty cute).
Pretty sweet? Huh? Then Ms. West gave us all a small play dough container with the quote: ""We're all just one small adjustment away from making our lives work." She said she had used this in a training with other staff members and had them take the playdough and create something and pass it around the table with each person making a small adjustment and it was really cool to see the outcome. She related this to, us counselors, as an example of also being flexible in our jobs. Do things get stressful? Yes! Are things in education always changing? Yes! But instead of being negative and complaining, we can be flexible and ever changing like playdough to adapt to our situations and environment which can make it all work!! I loved this activity, example, and movie quote so much....I created a little sign that I plan to hang in my office...so on those tough days, I can take a gander at it and remember that!!!
You can a free printable of this: HERE

This got me thinking about play dough and all the great uses in counseling. I especially thought about doing a similar activity in possibly a self esteem small group and having students describe how they feel about themselves and what they would want to change, what they can and can't change and possibly creating something with the play dough (maybe how they think they look, how they think others thing they look, etc). I hope to create a Small Group Counseling activity book in my TPT store pretty soon, so be on the lookout for that!!!

I also wanted to share an exciting Dollar Tree find!! I tried one of these wall stick ons and they had a lot of good counseling-type quotes there. I picked this one out to see how it would work and it was easy to put up and you can't beat a $1!!! I added it to my Believe. Dream. Achieve printables which you can also find HERE for free!!!

In other news...we are just waiting to see if the contract and everything else will go through on our current house and then we will start building!! We are just praying and seeing what happens. But here is a picture of where we will start  building if everything works out!!

Our students start tomorrow so I have enjoyed this last weekend before school REALLY starts with a wild manicure, shopping with my sweet family, and prepping for our sweet boy's first day of Kindergarten!!

I hope you all have a great start to your year! Please know that you are such an integral part of your campus and to "advertise" yourself and profession!!!! Keep a positive attitude and be flexible!!! I know I will keep that in mind this year!!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Counselor Blog Hoppin' and Tons of FREEBIES!!!!

Wow, y'all! I can't believe the start of school is just around the corner! Aaahhhh!! Not only am I excited to greet the kiddos at my new school but our oldest is starting Kindergarten (giant tear) but exciting all rolled into one! Where did time go??

What I have to share today sure cheers me up, though!!! The Helpful Counselor has organized an Ah-mazing Blog Hop with some pretty awesome fellow counselors!!!

Check out these incredible counseling pages!!!

Blog Hop Participants:
Colleen - One Stop Counseling Shop

There will also be links to their TPT stores where you can purchase some pretty neat things they have created but also download TONS of FREEBIES (over 54 to be exact)!!!! So check out their pages and find links to their TPT stores there!!

Here is mine: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Stylish-School-Counselor 

Here are some samples of things you can purchase or grab for FREE!!!!




Happy shopping and I am sure you will find some goodies from all of these amazing counselors!!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Relaxation, Organization, and Games....say what?

Hey y'all! I have missed you so much!! I have so been neglecting my blog! I have been busy starting my new position and prepping for the year. I hope you all are having time to get ready while finding time to still relax. Relaxation is SOOO important even if it means grabbing Starbucks and getting a pedi/mani. I know that and shopping are my ways to relax! : )
I know many readers on here are super busy and have a lot going on outside of counseling, so that is why it is super important to make sure you get your YOU time in. It seems that counselors are the worse about this (even though we know how important it is) because we juggle so many things at work and many times juggle so many things at home (family, outside activities, keeping up the house, Pinterest). I found this quote online and created a little picture below...this quote is so stinkin' true!
This quote is so true. I think about this in regards to being a counselor and a wife and mom. If I don't take rest, how will I be effective to my students and give them my all while I am at work?? If I don't take rest, how will I have the energy and calm mind set to play outside with my kids or spend time with my husband? I thought it was a quote worth sharing!

So I experienced my first day in my new district and by.golly do I love it!!

me trying to be cool and not sure why I wore a cardigan in 100 degree Texas weather...haha

I have my office, for the most part, complete. I have some things to hang and I would love a shelf to store games and activities. I think it's pretty cozy but it feels so empty. After being in elementary for so long, I am used to having tons of stuff everywhere!!

I can't wait to hang my dream.believe.achieve signs somewhere on the wall in a cluster. I want all my kiddos to see them because I want them to have big dreams, believe they can accomplish them, and achieve it!!!

You can get your own copy of these signs for FREE, here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Inspirational-Posters-Set-of-3-783919
I just purchased some cheap $3 frames to put them in! 

And if you haven't downloaded this for your office, here is the link for FREE counseling signs. They are great for testing and to let people know when you're in a session so they won't interrupt.

You can get them here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Freebie-Signs-801442

I have been posting on facebook how I would try to blog about organization. I think it will be in small parts because there are so many things to cover. Today, I will start with the basic thing that I can't.live.without.....and that would be my calendars. I have blogged about my love for Erin Condren calendars which you can still order here: http://www.erincondren.com/store/
I use this mostly for personal/family stuff like appointments, birthdays, and reminders but if I have a big meeting or something important at work I record it here so if I am trying to make an appointment for my kids I will know what day not to do it.

At work, I created a binder using my calendar in my TPT store which you can find here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/2013-2014-Calendar-717126

I created a cover and I put all of the important notes/reference pages that I know I will use often in the front pocket.

This is my absolute.must.have item!!! I record any meetings, appointments, staff development, special days (Red Ribbon Week, Education Week, etc) here! I love technology but I am the type of person that has to write it all down. So basically this little binder is my BFF!
I feel that forgetting a meeting or important date is a horrible feeling! So this is my first key to organization, this is also where I map things out in guidance or small group.

Another way I keep myself together is with binders. I am not a file folder kinda gal. I like having everything clear to see and a place to go.
I like having everything hole punched and behind labeled dividers so if I am looking for something I can flip to it, copy it, and put it right back. That's just me and maybe I am weird. Well, probably...haha.

The next thing and I promise last thing I wanted to highlight are the use of games in counseling sessions. I am a big believer of play therapy and I think kids express the most through play. Below are some games I have used and have heard of people using. I am sure the possibilities are endless with how you use them. I will try to link up where you can purchase them.
This game is Bullies, Victims, and ByStanders. I used this game A WHOLE LOT last year. The kids loved it and it had really good scenarios. I used it a lot in my Friendship group and it was great to hear the conversations that would come up just from reading the cards. 

I have seen some counselors even tape scenarios to the jenga blocks in group and I have also seen this in team building activities. http://www.amazon.com/Hasbro-A2120-Jenga-Classic-Refresh/dp/B00ABA0ZOA/ref=sr_1_1?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1375813483&sr=1-1&keywords=jenga+game 

Buddy Talk

How cool is this? I found this on an AMAZING site called Child Therapy Toys....I am so starting a wish list tonight!!! This would be great as an introductory activity for a group or for a social skills group. 

I know there are plenty more and I would love any comments about games you use and how you use them!!!

I also wanted to show you a new pack I created. It is great for starting up your counseling office if you're new or starting fresh. 

This pack includes the August through June calendar, a check in scale, small group rules (which I always have posted), Rules of Confidentiality (I always have posted, too), to do list, counseling log, and a little activity!

If you have started this school year already, I hope you are having a fabulous start and if you haven't started yet, I wish you the best!!! Don't forget to RELAX!!! : )