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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Music in Counseling: Part Two and a Whole Bunch More!

Hey y'all! I am so happy to have a chance to sit and blog! I have had sooo much to say and write about.

I would love to start with using music in counseling. I love music....all kinds of music!!! Music is amazing because a song can bring so much emotion and strike up so many memories...good and bad. I love using music in small groups for self esteem and friendship groups. The possibilities are endless!! When I am using songs, I try to use popular songs that the kids can relate to. Some of the songs that I have used and plan to use are:

1. Taylor Swift: Mean (Friendship Groups/Bullying)
2. Katy Perry: Firework (Focus: Celebrating Differences)
3. Demi Lovato: Skyscraper (Bullying/Friendship/Self Esteem)
4. Katy Perry: Roar (Celebrating Differences/Self Esteem/Bullying)
5. Sara Bareilles: Brave (Social Skills/Self Esteem)

Here are a couple of the videos and I always listen to the song first to make sure it is appropriate and if there is a part that is not, I mark the minutes of where to stop ahead.

The possibilities are endless with ways to use songs and they can cover so many topics. I usually have students listen to a song and we might do an activity to discuss the words in the song and how it applies to their life. A group that I had in the past decorated journals and we would listen to a song each week or every other week and they would write about a time that they felt how the song explained and would share with the group.

Speaking of decorating journals, I wanted to somehow incorporate my Bully Police (which you can read about here) but in middle school.  I am starting out small and just seeing how it will go. Basically, I had a group of students who are super sweet kiddos who would often visit to report bullying or not so good character. So I asked them to be like secret agents and meet with me three times a week (for about 10 minutes) or as needed to report any bullying or situations that concerned them. They have been AWESOME!! I may expand the group but I think keeping it small works best to protect their identity. The other day, they enjoyed a couple of minutes decorating their bully reporting journals. And let me add....glitter makes everything better!

It's also Bullying Prevention Month and I wanted to share a super cool resource that I found the other day!
This is a link for students to sign a digital petition to put a stop to bullying. It has free resources for both elementary and middle school.

This site derives from the above Pacer site that is targeted for teens and provides resources, stories, poems, and videos from teens who are being bullied or have been bullied and how they overcame it. Great, FREE resource!!!

Have you ever had an activity that you did that was so simple yet SO powerful? When I don't have tons of time to prep or if I am meeting with a student for the first time and they aren't so chatty, I always do this activity. They can draw or write: their family, favorite food, hobby, goal, something that scares them, and something that makes them happy. I jot this down on a paper I fold to where there are six boxes.

I know it's not cute or anything but I would say 75% of the time, I get SO much information and the discussion takes off just from these simple little things. I did this with a middle schooler but my elementary kiddos usually enjoyed drawing the pictures! Please share and comment any of your simple yet effective things you do!!!

Last week, I had a reader message me on facebook about my name  the Stylish School Counselor. She asked if since my name has "stylish" in it, could I post some of my outfits on my facebook page? Well, I don't always feel so stylish but I try to dress comfy and cute on a budget! I got the name for the blog because I had someone at my last job always say I look stylish and I like to create cutesy things so I thought it would be a cute name. If you see me at home as I type this in my very worn pink striped pajama pants and lime green church t-shirt, you would think I am VERY far from stylish but I do think it would be fun to post some outfits when I don't look crazy or have food stains on my clothes...haha! So feel free to follow me on instagram @melroseacker!  Here is a glimpse of what I wore Wednesday.

Speaking of clothes and accessories...I am crossing my fingers my hubby will let me order these adorable rain boots I have been lovin'. Here in Texas it has been a bit rainy and fall has finally made it's arrival! How stinkin' perfect would these be in my closet...and maybe yours?

Hunter Tall Gloss Rain Boots

Hunter 'Original Tall' Gloss Rain Boot (Women)
I am about to cuddle up with a cup of hot green tea and catch up on all my favorite counseling blogs!! Hope you all have a great week!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Day in My Life....

So I saw Tabitha at Scrapbook of a School Counselor and Danielle at School Counselor Blog do posts on "A Day In My Life" and I loved it so I thought I would do one today!!

1. CAFFEINE!!! I swear that Starbucks gives me super human powers. You give me a venti iced coffee with fat free milk and 3 splendas and I will do wonders. I work three times faster than normal. Haha...funny but true. I am trying so hard to cut out soda because it kills my stomach but you can see this was a day I needed a lot of caffeine hence the diet coke!!

2. I was planning for Red Ribbon Week and I absolutely love looking through the Positive Promotions catalogs. Have any of you seen the INOK (It's Not Okay)??? It is a program that builds respect among campuses. I love it all and I feel like it works so well for middle and high school. If you haven't seen it, check it out here!!!

3.I have also been planning a lot of parent meetings and 504 meetings. I feel like I have had so many meetings but I have enjoyed getting to know the families at our school, it offers so much insight and I love the relationship building aspect of our jobs as school counselors!!

4. Here is me in the morning...again....getting hyped up on caffeine. But, really....I am thinking of how blessed I am to be a school counselor!!!

I also wanted to chat a bit about my daily routine. One thing that is HUGE to me is trying to answer all emails and phone calls as soon as possible. I hear parents make comments all the time about how frustrated they get when they call the school and don't get a call back! I can understand as a parent how stinkin' tough that is! So I make sure to call and respond within 24 hours of receiving their call or email. So usually, I take care of this first thing in the morning. After that, I see students and of course take care of any situations that arise throughout the day. I also plan meetings, do classroom observations, and hope to start some groups within the next week. I have seen a big need for a social group and new student group.

As I said before, I feel like I am still finding my way and learning a lot but I am thankful for every minute!! I am putting the finishing touches on my TPT Fall Into Character Unit and hope to post it this weekend along with some freebies!!!

I hope you have a great week and have a Fabulous Friday!!!